From time to time I would hear someone say that less is more and it never made sense to me because I was always so busy multitasking, going from one project to another. I even used to read 35 books at the same time, alternating them according to what I was in the mood to read and never losing the drift of any of the stories. It seemed as though there were never enough hours in the day to get everything done. Then, about a dozen years ago, everything changed.
I can still remember so vividly how that metamorphosis came about. Eight or nine days before Christmas, someone asked me what my Christmas plans were and, for a moment, I couldn’t think. “It’s Christmas?” And I panicked. I had so much to do. Plane reservations to make, presents to buy and ship, and clients to see. I didn’t know how I was going to get everything done in time for the holidays.
Some of my clients were in crisis mode so I didn’t have time to do my usual shopping. I could only manage one or two stores a day, and not more than an hour or two. I learned how to plan ahead, to visualize what I wanted to buy, and each day I drove to a different store and came home an hour or two later.
A couple of days before I was scheduled to leave town, the last of my gifts were wrapped and I realized that I still had to ship them. With very little choice, I chose the most expensive way to get them there on time; I called the shipping company to come to the house to pick them up and sent them overnight by air.
The following year, I was caught in the same time crunch but this time I had bought some of my presents during the year so I had fewer to buy. For the next few years I learned a valuable lesson: no matter how few days before Christmas I started shopping, if I didn’t rush, all my gifts were bought with the least amount of effort and time and shipped by ground.
I took that lesson into real time and now, no matter how much I have to do, I do it slowly and efficiently, knowing that everything will get done without rushing. And it always does. Lesson learned.