I’m getting on a plane in three hours after the busiest two months of my life. I’ll spare you the details. We’re all busy.
There was a point though – a couple of weeks ago – where I seriously started to wonder how it was all going to get done. Five talks to prepare. Our back-to-back three-day leadership offsite followed immediately by a multi-national consultant event and a two-day intensive training session. Breathing into the proverbial paper bag, I almost convinced myself that I wouldn’t get it done. That I’d show up to one of those events completely unprepared and be booed off stage; forever branded as a fraud and a failure.
Thankfully, that didn’t happen. And, if I think through it rationally, it never was going to happen. Because preparedness is not a binary “yes/no” thing. There are gradient levels of preparedness, just like there are gradient levels of “done”.
My big takeaways from the last 8 weeks of insanity are this:
- “It” is going to happen, one way or another (all events, deadlines, etc). You can’t change it. All you can do is change your mindset towards it. You can spend the weeks/days/hours leading up to it freaking out about the potential failure points, or you can focus on why you chose to do “it” in the first place; i.e. “what’s the win here?” Shifting your mindset not only makes things more fun, it also saves you time (believe it or not), as it helps you zero in on what’s important.
- People want to help. When I own a project (i.e. I started it, I’m the guy in the spotlight, and we, as a team, have never done it before) I’m notoriously bad at taking some sadistic pleasure in doing all the work myself. Multiple members of the team chastized me for it these past few weeks. I get it. I’m working on it. For you though, just know that there are almost certainly people around you who want to help. Let them help.
- Don’t over commit (unless there’s a specific reason to). For me, it’s three months in Spain, starting in T-minus three hours. The light at the end of the tunnel gave all the craziness a clarity of focus and meaning that kept me on point. I’ve said a million times that this lifestyle is not for everyone and I stand by it. But for me, the sprints and periods of rest work. Which brings me to my final takeaway…
- Projects trump ruts. Turning your everyday work into a series of projects – either by giving it clear timelines or deliverables (or both) – gets you out of the rut of simply “going to work”. May was an exciting month, as we closed out a ton of projects that had been building since the calendar turned over to 2015.
June 1st may seem like a strange time of year for it, but I feel like we’ve closed a chapter of the Actionable book. It’s time to celebrate and reflect on the wins (and non-wins!), take a breather (and maybe a sangria) and reconnect to priorities and the vision. Then it’s into the next chapter. I can’t wait to see what’s in store.