You ever feel like life is speeding by?
Like, summer’s gone and you feel robbed because you had so many vague plans that never got addressed. And now fall is almost over, and where the hell did the rest of 2005 go, anyway?
Shrinks will tell you that too much routine chews up your sense of passing time. If you have a series of routines that make each day go smoothly for you, there’s a risk that nothing will happen to make those days memorable. And whole seasons will blow by without a headline or event to remember them by.
There are many theories about the perception of time. When you’re eight, the summer you’re experiencing represents a huge percentage of your life history. When you’re eighty, and you’ve just gone to your 5,000th bar-b-que, the seasons sort of blend together.
As Einstein would say, it’s all relative.
There are lots of ways to slow down fleeting time. Most of them involve getting out of routines and ruts. A week in Italy, for example, can seem to last a month when you pack it full of adventure.
I’m thinking about time as I prepare for flying down to Los Angeles to speak at the Big Seminar. This will be my, oh I don’t know, sixtieth or seventieth seminar gig — I’ve already been a featured speaker at three seminars since June, and I’ve been producing and appearing at similar events for over twenty years.
Still, as it gets close to showtime, I invariably get backed into a time management corner. I know the drill, but the prep, packing and planning for being away never becomes routine — there’s always something new about each gig and the surrounding circumstances.
There are two warring emotions going on: I’ll be doing my first Power Point presentation, which I want to go smoothly… and I’ve been gorging on the autumn weather, because my summer skipped by too fast.
Now, when I discuss Operation MoneySuck, I usually focus on the business side of it — if you’re the guy bringing in the money, then that’s your main job. Don’t get caught up in time-consuming stuff that isn’t bringing in the money — you’re the bottom line of your success, and you need to learn how to delegate, ignore and/or manage problems so they don’t distract you from what needs to be done to make your business work.
However, there’s a corollary to this — another angle that may not be immediately obvious.
It is this: A huge (and mostly overlooked) part of being the go-to guy in your biz is to nurture your head and soul. You’re not a machine, you’re a human being… and you need to feed the soft-tissue parts of your game.
I’m not going into detail about it… but right now my extended family (which includes relatives, friends, colleagues, and dogs) is experiencing an unusual period of crisis and change. I have a long and storied relationship with Trouble and Sorrow… and I can tell you with certainty that it will slow time down for you.
Some people bury themselves in work when things start going awry. If that soothes your wounds, fine… but you must understand that it’s not Operation MoneySuck.
No. Sometimes, in order to be truly successful, you must put your pursuit of opportunity into perspective… and spend more time with the non-money-making parts of your life.
I could fill my day with details of the upcoming seminar, nailing down every nuance of my speech and tailoring things so they’re just right.
Or, I can do what absolutely needs to be done… trust my skills at winging it a little bit (which often provides better overall results anyway)… and spend some quality time with those outside of my business existence who rely on me.
I’m a walker. Most of my experience of the changing seasons comes from long walks, where I soak up the sounds, the air, the smells and the ambience of nature and town and neighborhood. Sometimes, I walk to clear my head and get straight on business stuff. Other times, I walk to purge the stress of impending tragedy.
I’m walking a lot these days. And I’m not thinking about work much, either, as I bolt along. Instead, I’m both marvelling at how great it feels to be alive — even when life is throwing curveballs — and remembering past autumns of bliss and doom.
I’m getting a lot done in the office, even so. I just work a little more focused, and box in my time on any given project. I get it done.
But, for now, staying inside of Operation MoneySuck means tending to my private life more than usual.
Time is moving at a slug’s pace. I don’t wish things were different, because I prefer reality. I still hope for the best outcomes, but I have no illusions that stressing out will change anything.
Sometimes, taking care of business means ignoring business.
Hell, I’m gonna go walk the dog, see if those maples down the block have turned yet. And when I get back, I’m gonna call a friend or two who needs to laugh or vent or cry.
And, if necessary, I’ll just stay up a bit later tonight going over that Power Point one last time…
"11 Really Stupid Blunders You're Making With Your Biz & Career Right Now."
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