NOTE: Final week to take advantage of the Big Box Bonus Bundle offer. Check the end of message for details.
REFLECTION: This year, September and October were pretty active months in my life. It didn’t really hit me how active they had been until November rolled around and my schedule loosened up a bit. Quite the contrast!
S & O were filled – bumper to bumper – with lots of great things. No complaints there! Challenging work with interesting clients. An engaging conference on workplace wellness. A heartfelt farewell to a dear friend. A family wedding celebration. An exciting vacation get away. Mentoring and charity work. I wouldn’t have traded away any of those activities.
In retrospect, what I might have done differently is paid more attention to TAT – the Turn Around Time – between events. It was a bit too ‘next…next…next’ – too often at the expense of the here and now.
There’s a lot of performance pressure to reduce Turn Around Time in the world of work – faster responses to messages, speedier delivery of products, more instant access to services. But there can be a personal cost to upping the ante.
When TAT shrinks, pressure grows.There is no longer time to savor what you’ve just experienced nor to fully anticipate what comes next. Minor glitches easily assume major proportions. The rhythm shifts to rush and roar – as we spend our days rushing in and roaring out.
Richard Swenson describes what’s missing in these situations as margin – those gaps in timing, the cushioning between engagements, a sense of openness to possibilities in our daily experience.
ACTION: If TAT is an issue for you, too, here are a handful of strategies I’ve used in the past and need to remember for the future. Hopefully they’ll help you strike a more satisfying balance on Turn Around Time:
Build ‘mop up’ time into the scheduling of meetings and events. If a gathering ends at 4:00, it might be 4:30 before you’ve finished those last minute conversations, packed up, made a restroom stop, and disengaged enough to move on. Knowing that, don’t book your next engagement across town for 4:15.
To minimize overcommitment, make prep time visible on your calendar. If you’ve got two hours of work to get ready for an event, designate a block of time for prep. Whether it happens at that specific time or not, you’ll remember that those two hours are spoken for.
Build minor travel time into your appointment schedule. So far, instantaneous tele-transporting is not an option. It takes time to walk to the other end of the building or to drive across town. Take that into account.
Choose flights to allow an extra cushion for delays and weather. Taking the second last flight out – rather than the last flight out gives you a little more wriggle room. Arriving early at the airport takes away some of the pressure of surprise line-ups at security.
Honor your down-time needs. If you are more introverted by nature, you’ll need more solo time and space between people engagements to replenish your energy. There’s nothing wrong with that. Just plan around it.
Pay attention as you move through your day and week. Note where you find yourself pinched by a lack of TAT. Adjust accordingly.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Determination alone is nothing without discernment.” – Linda Kavelin Popov.
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: Ned offers a fun way to put this issue in perspective. Check out his four minute video: No Margin Ned . Ned’s strategies for doing away with margin will help you stress up your life, big time!
BIG BOX BONUS BUNDLE: I can’t believe it! We’ve sold all the copies from the original print run of my latest book, Press Pause…Press On. And so, we fired up the presses and rolled off a second batch of books. There’s good news in this for you!
The books are boxed 48 to a carton with a little headroom to spare. I’m taking 10 of those boxes and stuffing that extra space with this collection of bonus goodies: 2 more books (to top it up to 50), 50 Pause decals, 10 copies of my Take A Break booklet, 5 Pause postcards, 1 set of 4 Pause Posters (8.5×11), 5 Pause postcards, and 1 Pause mousepad.
The retail value of the whole enchilada totals a shade over $1100. From now through the 30th of November, ten of these bundles are up for grabs for $550 each (plus taxes & shipping). Perfect timing for seasonal gifts for clients, colleagues and friends. (Too many for your needs? Partner up with a colleague to take advantage of the savings.)
The B4 reprint special is available only by phone and only for one more week. Call toll free at 877-728-5289 to order your Big Box Bonus Bundle now.