As anxiety builds up, I have to stop and breathe for a minute. I get to my car, jump in and take off to my next location, home. Home is where the heart is right? Well not today.
Today I had two more meetings, after finishing up the one I was leaving. Balls deep in Venice, I had to get back down the 405 before 5. It was 3:30.
Now before you say, that’s enough time, let’s think about this. In lovely LA, where the sun is bright and the cool breeze paints your skin, LA holds a population of about 10 million. Which means traffic. Which means 5 miles could be 50 minutes long. So you need to leave early. How early? Like an hour or two.
I finally get home. I’m stressed out. Soon as I get to sit down, the phone rings. I pick up and it’s one of my partners calling me about a meeting I’m apart of. Shit, did I double book again?
Time to Slow Down
After those meetings, I finally get some me time. I sat down on my mat and started to meditate. As I close my eyes and take a deep breathe, it dawned on me. I am doing way too much in a day. Ok, its only like three meetings. Shit, Kevin Hart has more meetings in NY and LA in one day. Why can't I keep up?
Well I had to stop comparing for one. Two, I had to keep it real with myself. I’m introverted in nature. That means that I hold less energy and also don’t conserve energy well. I’m like a gas guzzling SUV with a small gas tank. As a designer and developer, both those tasks combined tend to tire me out. Then tack on the fact, phone calls, emails, admin work, and then personal life. So I had to do what’s best for me.
System Building Time
I began to build a easy system to follow for myself when it comes to scheduling. A friend gave me some advice on how I can simplify my schedule. We were heading to Coco Ichibanya and he said, try participating in one big event per day. This big event, in my situation, could be an in-person meeting, a deadline, a party, or anything that can be draining. Another part of this strategy is to defer your scheduling when put on the spot.
Let’s say you’re on the phone with a client, and the client asks "can we meet up tomorrow”? I know for a fact that I’m poor at being in the moment. My mind is always churning. It’s like a steroid taking hamster, going hard on the hamster wheel. This wheel is going so fast, it’s opening up portals to other dimensions and what not. When I relax or try to live in the moment, my mind is like that crazy hamster jumping off the wheel to take a break. Since the wheel is still spinning at astronomical speeds, it’s going to take a long time for the wheel to slow down. Thus my brain takes a long time to chill out.
So back to the situation. When a client asks me a question like that, I’m thinking about something else. So I’ll default my answer to, "let me check my schedule and I’ll get back to you in a bit.” This definitely helps me with my double-booking issue. For staying in the moment during conversations, I'm still practicing breathing techniques. I'm still practicing echoing the conversation in my head. I'm still practicing maintaining eye contact.
So far, so good. The strategy has helped my mental health, physical health, and business health. There’s still some things needing tinkered. As long as I'm doing only one thing at a time. If I keep practicing deferring most of my decision making to a less stressful time. I can make better decisions and not feel so stressed. So far, my life has been much simpler and this strategy could help you too!