Even we “experts” fall prey to our base instincts. I was traveling last week. It was 6:00pm. My client dinner appointment was set for 6:45pm. It was a quick Uber ride from the hotel to the restaurant. All I needed was a post-workout shower and I was ready to go. Plenty of time to reply to this one last email…
Next thing I know it’s 6:20pm! I jump in the shower and quickly head to the hotel lobby. Great news! There’s an Uber a block away. Into the car we go, then we come to an abrupt halt. Rush. Hour. Traffic.
I was only five minutes late to the restaurant, but it’s embarrassing for a time management guy to be late! I fell prey to my own optimism.
One Last Thing Itis
We often try to squeeze one last thing into the present before heading off to the future. Sometimes it works out. Many times, it doesn’t. Yet we optimistically do it again and again.
OneLastThingItis is a trap for the unwary. The trouble with “squeezing” anything into the present is the verb “squeeze.” It connotes a tight fit, not easy, or problematic.
Fight the urge to do too much right now. The optimism and reward of accomplishing something right now can result in the stress and disappointment in failing at the next thing. In my case, the urgent sense of responding to an email resulted in my failing to arrive on time.
No big deal, you say? Think about it. The two rewards available were (a) getting an email out to a client who wouldn’t see it until the next morning or (b) arriving to an important dinner on time. The stress and embarrassment of arriving late wasn’t worth getting one last thing done.
Leave Sufficient Time
The solution is simple: leave sufficient time. The best way to do that is to consider every appointment as important as the departure time for the flight leaving on your vacation. Funny thing, we always seem to make that flight…