Recently, Mike wrote a post titled Throw The Deep Ball where he wrote about the forward pass and how sometimes we need to take risks and go for big gains rather than small improvements. That works well for Mike, but I wanted to switch to the other side of the ball and tell you why I disagree.
He’s right that the National Football League season is just around the corner, but I’m no fan of the sport. I used to be. I would sit around for two straight days – Saturday and Sunday – and do nothing but watch football (and eat, people always eat or drink while they watch). Then one day I realized that game days consumed too many beautiful days. One day, I got up and turned off the television. Little did I know that would change my life.
The next season our daughter was born and that was the retirement of my football career (as a fan). Honestly, it couldn’t have ended better.
In all those years as an observer of football, I learned a few things. I learned about the value of the deep ball but also of good defense. The most popular of the different defenses is the “cover-2.”
This defense is situated so that there are two players at the very back whose job it is to not let anybody behind them. On rare occasions they pivot from this, but not often. The philosophy of this defense is bend-but-don’t-break.
The other team can wrack up small gains here or there but they won’t be able to pick up large chunks. Strategically it means the offense has to put together a longer sequences of successful plays without miscue to score points.
Life – as Mike wrote – is no different.
We should have a plan in place that allows for the little things to happen in life, because they don’t do us harm. Our business can survive slow days, but not barren months. Our productivity can flirt with social media, but not for all day. Our careers can be delayed longer than we’d like, but not completely derailed.
For me, it was the removal of football that helped my productivity the most.
Did you know the average professional football game lasts 3 hours and 12 minutes, but the time when the ball is actually in play a mere 11 minutes? Even if you love to watch football, this is a good argument for recording it and fastforwarding through some of the commercials, right?
I started to use my time better on Saturdays and Sundays. I read more, wrote more, and spent more time with my family. It didn’t matter if I snuck off to work on a weekend afternoon because the rest of the weekend could be family time. When I gave up football, I installed a better time management defense.
It is important to use a good plan that keeps you focused – either The NOW Year Formula or another one that works for you – so you can move forward with the confidence that we can bend but not break and win in the end.
How do you manage the things that could be big distractions? Are you a bend-but-don’t-break type like I am with little things or are you an absolutist who doesn’t give an inch like I am about football?