I was working at a coffee shop the other day and — besides needing to adjust the blind to keep the sun from creating a glare on my computer screen — was tunnel-vision focused on my work. The stint ended abruptly when the wi-fi went down. No big deal. I choose to leave so I could continue elsewhere. As I was walking out I reflected on my Energizer Bunny-like burst of productivity. Anything I could learn from what just happened?
Everything about the day was terrifically normal. I love my new routines and am thrilled to share that they are regular. I wake up (not too early) and hang out with my family; do work for great clients; and then write or challenge myself somehow. The challenge doesn’t happen every day, but my days are more fulfilling when it’s included.
So, back to the productivity burst in the coffee shop. I have a hypothesis. I only had a brief amount of time - one hour - to eat lunch and get a deliverable finished and sent to a client. I decided to eat first and clearly learned that I eat way too fast. My food was delivered and it was gone in less than 5 minutes. First, yikes. Second, there goes my excuse that there’s no time for lunch! Geesh.
So, back to the coffee shop. After I wolfed down my food (it was good and I did try to take a moment to enjoy the sunshine, but clearly it wasn’t a long drawn-out process) I decided to log my next 30 minutes of time to what I needed to get done. The difference in my focus was apparent. I’d “promised” to deliver specific things so somehow the email, phone, and text notifications — and the conversations around me in the coffee shop — took a backseat. Fascinating how a tiny change in sequence — time logged before work vs after — seemed to make a difference. The change was so small. And it was shared with no one except me.
I wonder if a slight change in routine — that includes making a promise to yourself — can make a difference? It did for me. I promised myself what I’d accomplish in the next 30 minutes and I delivered. Simple. Straightforward. Successful.
What promise can you make to yourself this season (no matter how tiny it may seem)?
Promise yourself. Then deliver. You deserve it.