As I write, I'm sitting on a plane waiting for a red eye to take off. The current time is 11:45pm here at LAX, and 2:45am in New York City, where I'll land in about 2 and a half hours. The chances of me catching any sleep are fairly unlikely. It's not that I'm not tired. Trust me I absolutely am. I've been running around this city going from one meeting to another all week. And I attended a conference and a few client dinners in between. So although I'm exhausted, here I am writing and reflecting on something that occurred to me earlier today.
I've been thinking a lot about how entrepreneurs are always "on." Our minds are always going, constantly racing (often in multiple directions about multiple ideas). No matter how much or how hard, no matter how efficient, how focused, or how relentless we are at tracking our priorities, there will always be more for us to tackle. More tasks to complete, more phone calls to make, more meetings to attend, more deals to be done.
For the past five years I've worked 7 days a week, shooting for over 100 productive hours a week. It's no surprise that an article I recently read, ‘Busy is the New Stupid' touched on a nerve or two. I don't disagree, and they are probably right. It's why I want to share one thing that's helped me in these moments of ‘I have too much to do, too many current priorities, too few hours left in this flight...' scenarios. Ready for it?
Grace. (noun: elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action). It's a powerful word with many different definitions. Here is what it means to me — and I hope it's helpful to you on your next red eye, early morning, late night at the office, or full day of back-to-back meetings.
To me, grace is the combination of three specific things; 1. acknowledging and restating my intention, 2. appreciating all the time that I have to do all the "To Dos" on my list, and all the amazing people I get to do them with, and 3. believing that I can.
1. Acknowledging and restating my intention
As many of you have heard or read, I'm here to give as much to as many as I can in the short time that I'm here. I find that restating that helps center me in times of discomfort, tiredness, overwhelm, or when I'm losing my resolve of belief.
2. Appreciating all the time that I have
No matter how busy or full my schedule is — appreciating how lucky I am to have an overflowing to-do list, and how fun it is to be able to work with such amazing people on so many fun and challenging projects.
3. Believing that I can
I can complete the To Do list, make time for the things that I need and WANT to do. Knowing deep down that there really is time to do it all is important. I recently read a book that introduced me to Einstein time, or the concept that YOU create time — and that you can create as much or as little of it as you want or need. It's a fascinating concept that you can learn more about here (add link). By believing that I can and will make the time to do all that I need to do, I give myself the confidence and comfort to carry on at a steady pace instead of rushing tasks, meetings, calls, and deliverables.
Together I have found those three factors are the key ingredients to my personal definition of grace. I hope they will provide you some support during your red eye moments in the future.