It’s been an interesting week. I’ve been bitten by a white-tail spider, had three doctor’s refuse to see me about it because they were ‘too busy’, my cat’s bladder nearly exploded requiring immediate and expensive action, and – to top it all off – my ignition barrel has given up on life and I’ve spent the last ninety minutes sitting in my car waiting for a tow truck to rescue me.
Want to know the really fun part? I have an hour and thirty-six minutes in which to do tow-truck man business, get back home, pack, and get to the airport. Make that an hour thirty-five.
Anyway, after spending said ninety minutes drumming the dashboard, learning how to play games on my phone, and throwing back too many long macchiato’s, I decided it’s time to take action. In fact, in my slightly drug-induced (excess caffeine) state, I decided to try some calming meditation.
But after slowly repeating ‘this too shall pass’ to myself three and a half times, I realised I was feeling slightly insane, and pretty nearly ready to kill someone. Specifically the tow truck man if he didn’t get his butt here NOW.
And that was when it hit me. I could sit here working myself up into such a sweaty, enraged bother, or I could take advantage of my enforced captivity by pulling out my laptop and ticking a few things off my research and writing list.
Of course – wouldn’t you know it – as soon as I logged on to the internet I got a call from Mr Tow Truck Man saying that he was twenty minutes away. Grrrr! Doesn’t he know I was trying to work! But it’s funny how – once you’re in the right mindset – you can sure get a whole lot of stuff done in next to no time.
In twenty minutes, with my mind focused on the determination to walk away from this mess feeling like I’d achieved something, I managed to:
- Hunt down all the old and new research I need for an article I’m writing on ‘Whether Vegetarians Live Longer Than Meat-Eaters’
- Get things moving on a new joint-business venture by organising hosting, outsourcing the set-up of a new paid blog, and re-direct an existing domain name to my new hosting (this even included having to watch a video on how to re-direct a domain name: no, I’m not a tech-geek by nature!)
- Reply in fairly detailed length to four important emails.
- Update my Facebook status (okay, that wasn’t on my must-do list)
- Go through the client accounts for my two apprentice Personal Trainers and check that everything is up to date
Pretty cool, huh? Even better – for that brief period of time, I managed to forget that I was in peril of missing my flight to Canberra.
In case you’re wondering, it’s Friday morning and I’m sitting in my parents lounge-room in Canberra finishing this article off now. But, yes, I did write most of it in the car after I’d completed the above list. Mr Man was actually about eight minutes late on his stated arrival time so I got to writing.
Now the only thing I have to figure out is why I work so much better under pressure. And I know I’m not the only one. It seems most of us out there thrive on the adrenaline of a deadline – real or self-imposed. Wouldn’t success be so much easier if we were just naturally motivated to stay on task and pursue all our exciting ideas regardless of circumstance? If you find out the key to that one, please let me know!
In the meantime, if you’re looking to get some work done or pursue a new idea, why not create your own self-imposed deadline? You don’t have to wait for your car to break down. Here are five of my favourite tactics. Can you guess which one of them I’m employing right now?
- No morning coffee (or whatever gets you going) until you have spent 30 minutes working on something important. This does not mean email and surfing.
- Choose something that you love, and ‘forbid’ yourself to do it until a set task has been accomplished. Even if the something you love is good for you. I find not allowing myself to exercise works well for me.
- Commit to not attending a much-looked-forward-to social event until you have ticked three important things off your list.
- Set the alarm clock for half an hour earlier and actually make use of the time!
- Do it NOW. Even if you’ve only five minutes. Five minutes a day adds up, you know. And it’s sure better than getting to the end of the year and realising you’ve progressed barely at all because you were ‘too busy’. Whether it’s exercise, food preparation, business or career advancement ideas, or just cleaning the house, it ain’t gonna happen unless you make it happen.
*Oh – and my car is sadly spending the weekend in Mitcham at a mechanics. I say sadly because it’s many many miles from my home. Any takers to pick it up?! I promise to lock you in it afterwards and force you to be productive!