Some mornings you wake up, and
-You can’t find your keys.
-The gym’s closed.
-The highway’s blocked.(1)
-Oh, and it’s raining, and you accidentally left your couch cushions outside on the porch to dry.
That was the last 45 minutes for me.
And I know from experience: I can let this drag on as long as it wants. There are mornings where it’s an endless parade of things that can and will go wrong. Give it 20 more minutes and I’ll be on the side of the road trying to fix a flat tire. And then it’ll start raining again.
Murphy’s Law rides shotgun, somedays.
So this is a restart kind of morning for me. Things get off wrong, and I have to bring it all back to zero. Turn off the engines. Breathe. Maybe sit down at a diner with a stack of pancakes and find my center again. Maybe I’ll hit the gym, or run an errand or two. I’ll go through what’s wrong and figure out how bad the damage is. Often, it’s just a series of little things that I’ve built into something much bigger.
Bad breaks happen. Bad things happen.
But I can’t afford to lose an entire day of work because things aren’t going my way. That’s why I have to know when it’s time to stop the slide. I have to know when it’s time to restart.
This applies to your work, too. You will do work that goes nowhere. You will have days where you hit dead ends.
Recognize when things just aren’t breaking your way. Step back and give yourself room. Give it a few minutes for something else to take hold in your mind. And then come right back to the work at hand.
Some mornings, it all lines up for you. Every light’s a green. You’re fully in the zone.
Those days are fun.
But they don’t come around every day. And the work has to get done every day.
Know when you need to stop and restart. Just stop. Breathe. Grab some pancakes.
When you’re ready, you’ll find the zone again.
That photo of a donkey was taken by Jordan Butler and published on Unsplash.
- Here’s looking at you, donkey in the road. And yes, Grandma, he’s the ass I’m talking about in the title. I wouldn’t use that kind of language on the blog otherwise :-) ↩