Today is a Gift
A few short months ago, life was amazing. I was 8 pounds lighter. Optimism was everywhere. Business was thriving. Family and friends could get together whenever we wanted. The baseball season was about to start. My favorite restaurant was open…and the list goes on.
Fast forward to today and it’s impossible to ignore the massive loss of life occurring across the world. I also find myself increasingly more grateful for each day, and along with it a feeling of guilt for taking much for granted.
As I grapple with these emotions and adjust to this new normal, I am reminded that today is a gift – one of life’s most valuable commodities. We can always make more money, but we don’t have the ability to manufacture more time. In that theme, here are five (5) areas that I am working to change in my daily routine:
#1 Permission to Slow Down
While staying productive and finding efficiencies are certainly important, given the extraordinary challenges we find ourselves in – it’s alright to slow down. We are living in unprecedented times. Make sure you are finding opportunities for you. Stay rested and be sure to find those activities that keep your mind and body in a healthy place.
#2 Consider the Company You Keep
Prior to the current coronavirus pandemic, my work schedule centered around the typical things – calls, meetings, conferences and airports. All of these containing a social element to them. Reflecting on those interactions reminds me of the importance of the company we keep – personally and professionally. Our lives should include those positive, yet honest voices that want us to succeed.
#3 Evaluate Your Activities
Leading a “busy” lifestyle doesn’t necessarily mean we are translating those efforts into the right areas. In business, how we use our time and who we use it on, are critical factors to achieving success. Take a moment to consider if your daily activities are moving you towards your goals. Keep in mind the end objective and prioritize key tasks accordingly. Everything else can be earmarked for later, delegated, or set aside completely.
#4 Leverage the Latest Technology
There are various services that handle the pain points for any professional looking to streamline workflow. Artificial intelligence can field queries and pinpoint leads. Numerous Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) providers automate back office functions. Our contact databases integrate with our email and marketing software to track engagement. Whatever you are looking to improve, there is an associated tech tool able to help.
#5 Time is Money
Remember the cliché, “time is money?” Stop wasted efforts. Before we send an email or “reply all,” ask, “is it really necessary?” Keep meetings productive with an established agenda, send relevant documents in advance and create an environment where voices can be heard. Everyone should walk away from a meeting feeling like it was a valuable way of spending their time.
Today is a gift and the global impact of this pandemic serves as a very real reminder that we aren’t promised tomorrow.
How will you spend today? I encourage you to find ways to reduce or eliminate those things keeping you from meaningful work in your profession and quality time with your loved ones.
Silver linings can come from tragedy. In struggles, we can find renewed strength. We all have a responsibility to push forward and be mindful of the how fortunate we are. This includes the big things like health, family and friends – and for the simple things and everything in between.
And for those suffering, let us all find a way to give back now more than ever. “It’s good to be blessed, it’s better to be a blessing.” [-Author unknown].