I was sitting on the airplane banging my head against the window.
The pilot had just come on the loudspeaker and said, “Well, we have to take a different flight path, so we need more fuel. Problem is, it’s lightning. So the fuel trucks can’t be out. BE NICE TO THE FLIGHT ATTENDANTS. THIS ISN’T THEIR FAULT.”
“Hello folks, alright, we can get fuel now.”
“Alrighty. We have fuel but we have to push back and there was more lightning so we have to wait 20 more minutes.”
And on and on and on until 11:20 pm (we had been loaded up since 8 pm). “Ok, so I am begging and pleading with the ground crew. I need 3 people in order to get this plane off the gate and I can’t get anyone. I’m promising things I don’t have. I have to be honest, we’re running out of time.” (Before crew time out.)
It was noon and I still hadn’t gotten anything I needed to get done, done. Nothing on my to-do list was crossed off. I spent the morning chasing something down for a client that I had not planned to do.
I had broken my rule of getting the most important thing of the day done before checking email. Instead, I checked email and allowed myself to join the wild goose chase that started in my inbox overnight.
THE COMMON DENOMINATOR IN THOSE STORIES
Is me. I KNOW better than to book airplane flights in the afternoon. I live in the coastal south. Summertime afternoon flights are THE WORST. Not only do you have the regular delays piled up messing with the schedule, but you also have afternoon storms. Last year I got stuck time after time after time. “I’m not doing this again,” I would say to myself. And then I’d do it again.
I KNOW better than to check my email if there is something I MUST GET DONE. But I did it anyway.
IT’S EASY TO BLAME SOMEONE ELSE
It’s harder to analyze a situation and say, “What could I have done differently to have the outcome I wanted. Sometimes there’s nothing, but usually, there’s something.
- Don’t fly in the afternoons in the summer.
- Do the most important thing before checking email.
- Eat breakfast so I don’t have a sugar crash at 11 am.
- Get in bed an hour before my target lights off time so I have time to wind down and get the sleep I need.
- Exercise regularly so I don’t get stir crazy.
- Follow my procedures with clients, even if I’m scared to because I know what happens when I don’t.
Every time I think “Oh I’ll just make this little exception,” it usually backfires on me. I know better.
Action: Make a list of non-negotiables and do your best to stick to them! Your business (and the rest of your life) will thank you!