- Learning more about programming
- Improving my Spanish
- Strategic planning for our company rather than putting out the latest fire
- Teaching judo
- Keeping up with people - answering email, returning phone calls, just checking in
- Data analysis and research
I’ll bet you have your own list. There might be some times, temporarily, when you have to put everything else on hold, but be careful of letting it become your lifestyle.
My guess is, if you are reading this blog, you and I may have a little bit in common. Speaking for myself, one of the tendencies I have is to go all in. That can be good. It led to a world championships, a Ph.D., a published book, a few companies founded. That can also be a bad thing.
I’m not one of those people who hate on Facebook. In fact, my friends’ list is regularly curated so I only see what I want, which is how my friends and family are doing and people who post interesting (to me) stuff. I admire those people who manage to always have time for their family and hobbies while simultaneously holding down a job that supports said families and hobbies .
However, I’m not talking about those people, I’m talking about me and the last few months have been simultaneously a disaster and an amazing success. The success part is that we hit a lot of deadlines with very good results for our company. I pitched at 3 Ed Tech events, including 2 in Spanish, which takes me seven times as long to write and practice because it’s my second language.
|Me, at my day job|
I did three presentations in Spanish, two live and one streamed to over 7,000 people. One of those live presentations was hosted by a ‘district’ seven hours south of Santiago, where I also visited two schools and discussed our latest games. I could go on, but you get the idea.
|No greater success than seeing kids' interest in our games|
Have you ever been like that? You have so much going on with your job or your sport that you exclude everything else?Well, stop it. Like so many things else in life, my base in judo is helpful here. I won a whole bunch of gold medals while going to college, going to graduate school and working full time as an engineer. I also had a baby/ toddler the last two years. So, I know from personal experience you don’t have to spend 100% of your time on one goal to be a success. Maybe you do TEMPORARILY, like the two months leave I took from my job to compete and train in Europe and focus on my training in the US. However, if that two months turns into six, you might want to start questioning how temporary this is.
So, what’s my answer? Well, you are reading it. Those deadlines I had to meet were really important but one thing I have finally managed to understand is that not everything is equally important. Event at U.S. Embassy with 20 very knowledgeable people on education in Chile - extremely important and can’t be put off. Someone want to meet with me and talk about using our software in our schools on Monday - if they called me Friday afternoon, I DON’T have to spend all weekend preparing for it. In fact, if they are the kind of person who thinks I should jump at the opportunity to meet them at the last minute, maybe I don’t want to work with them.
Here’s a key point ... you’re making yourself crazy
Most likely, if I tell that Head of School, “Could we meet the next week instead? Here are three times that work for me, are you available any of those?” They will be perfectly willing to meet with me later. They just threw out the first time that was available. (Go back and read my other post on not giving it more attention than it deserves.)
Now that I’ve gotten through the immutable deadlines, that’s what I’m doing. Because I’m me, it would be easy to get back into the same rat race of waking up, taking 10 minutes to shower, dress and dash out the door, a frantic day of meetings, then more work until I fall into bed, drink a glass of wine while reading my email and go to sleep exhausted.
What I have decided NOT to do is go back to this schedule by trying to do everything every day.
What I have been doing is started working on a couple of items on my list every day. In the morning, I just work on learning more Spanish or programming , sometimes both. That’s what I do the first hour that I’m up. More, if it’s a weekend . I started going to bed earlier,getting up an hour earlier and doing what I most wanted to catch up on first.
I turned the international plan back on for my phone and I’ve started calling a couple off people a day just to catch up.
One of those calls was to James Wall who mentioned the JudoCon in Kansas City, November 2nd and 3rd. I had thought of presenting at that and concluded I could not spend an extra week or so in the U.S. Again, it occurred to me, hey, if the people I am working with can’t accept that I’m going to be gone a few extra days, perhaps those aren’t the right people to be working with. I mean, it’s not as if I’m a slacker.
So, yeah, I’ll be in Kansas City in November, head home to southern Cal in time to vote and then, most likely, head back to Chile after doing my civic duty.
There’s your answer then - make the time. Start work an hour later. Take a vacation . The people around you most likely will be totally fine with that. If not, find new people .
AzTech: The Story Begins - Mr. Gonzalez history class loses an average of 2 students per year. What happens to them? Find the answer while learning fractions, statistics and Latin American history .
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