Last fall I had a wonderful opportunity to meet John Zeratsky while attending a conference. As someone building software, it was really encouraging to see an author so closely aligned with a lot of concepts we discussed and built into Bella. I really like how this book is organized.
Right now we think many of us could use a little levity, as well as reinforcing the basics of what it means to be productive. In this series, we’ll be talking about key concepts we liked from the Make Time book. We’re putting our own little twist and examples for them to help you smile. Guest author Deb Combs shares her take on the Make Time book in this post.
The first concepts we want to focus on are starting each day by choosing a focal point and scheduling it. Just like your cat does.
Are you ready to be the cat?
Every morning it’s rattle rattle, and I pull my blankets over my ears to block the noise from the cat’s toy.
And now my cat is purring in my face.
purr purr purr.
She purrs until I pet her. She wants her breakfast, and she’ll get it, despite it being oh so dark and early. Can you relate?
What’s going on in my cat’s mind is pretty amazing. She’s figured out that the highlight of her day is her breakfast. And she’s figured out that she won’t get that highlight just anytime: it happens when I wake up in the morning. She knows that to make the highlight of her day happen, she has to act on it at the right time of day. She knows that her highlight is important to her because it gives her joy and satisfaction.
Her brain is the size of a walnut. She’s figured out how to make her hope of breakfast become a plan for making breakfast happen.
From promise to plan
Those realizations are powerful. They change any hope–a desire for a good thing that may happen–into a promise to yourself, into the basis for a plan. And it works: my cat gets fed at oh so dark and early every day, even on those days where I then slide back into bed for more sleep.
Scheduling a highlight onto a calendar prioritizes it, doing so both lays claim to the time and indicates that the highlight deserves to push less important tasks out of that part of the day. So fulfilling such a promise means not letting people double-book over the time set aside for the highlight.
Of course, hopefully rarely, the calendar will just blow up anyway: there are those days where nothing goes as planned.. We’ve all had that happen. But then I remember my cat. She never fails to rattle that toy every morning, to purr in my face every morning. Even if her breakfast was late the day before, the next day she’ll be right back at it with the purrs, and the rattles, and the thump onto the bed next to me. She knows that the highlight of her day is important, that it brings her the joy and satisfaction (and sustenance) that she needs, and so it needs to be on our calendar. She makes sure that it is.
As you think about your calendar over the coming days- remember to be the cat. It will add some structure to your days, and help you get your most important item done each day. Check out the Make Time book for more great ideas!