My mornings usually have the same schedule – wake up, exercise, have breakfast and then get ready for work. This morning started out the same way. I woke up, exercised and then sat down to have my breakfast. And then, I received a call from a friend I have not heard from in a while. We talked for a bit, just catching up. It was only for a few minutes, but it was enough to put me behind schedule. I had to eat my breakfast faster and rush through getting ready to work because I had a meeting at ten, and I needed to have everything ready before then. This experience made me realize a few things.
No matter what we do to plan out the day, month, or year something else invariably comes up to throw us out of schedule. Whether it is in our daily lives or in business, not everything runs smoothly one hundred percent all the time. Something always comes up – a setback, an interruption, a distraction – these will keep you from keeping to the schedule.
In many cases, we do not realize how much time we spend on these distractions. Interruptions come in all sorts of forms. Some are unpleasant and uncontrollable, like a flat tire, or traffic but these are few and far between. Most hiccups are pleasant and welcome distractions, like an interesting article or video on social media. Or in my case, a call from a close friend that I have not spoken to in a while. These are the ones we should watch out for because they make us lose track of time. We lose focus and we become unproductive.
You need to check from time to time if you’re still on schedule. As I was talking to my friend, I happened to glance at the clock – that was when I realized that I was running late. I asked him if I could call him later in the day, for a longer uninterrupted catching up. Imagine what would have happened if I did not see what time it was. I might have continued to talk to him and believe me, it could easily take us an hour to finish catching up. While that in itself is not necessarily a bad thing, I had a very important meeting coming up later in the morning, and I had to finalize a few notes before the meeting started. Had I failed to do that, I would have wasted not only my time but the time of everyone who attended that meeting.
If you do find yourself behind schedule, you can still make adjustments to catch up. When I found myself more than fifteen minutes behind schedule, I had to move fast to catch up. This meant that instead of sitting back and enjoying my breakfast I had to eat faster. I also had to rush to get ready for work. But you know what? I made it in time. I had time to organize my notes and set the items I wanted to discuss and highlight during the meeting. What does it mean? It means that whenever you find yourself behind schedule, all is not lost. You just need to learn to adapt, work double-time and get back on track.
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