For me, Halloween is a stark reminder that 10 months have flown by, and that we have, in earnest, six full working weeks left this year. It brings to mind one of my favorite aphorisms: “The days are long, but the years are short.”
So, on this Halloween, instead of lamenting the much-too-fast passing of time, I’m going to share a few tricks and treats.
Here are three tricks that I’ve adopted this year:
- I’ve stopped worrying. The best way to explain why and how is summed up by the hypothetical commencement speech by columnist Mary Schmich, put to music in a song called “Wear Sunscreen.” “Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blind side you at 4 PM on some idle Tuesday.”
- I’ve learned how to sleep. Sounds odd to say that, but I realized how many bad sleep habits I had. So this year I bought a great bed and pillow, I don’t drink coffee after 1 PM, I’ve stopped checking emails two hours before I sleep, I don’t watch TV and I listen to a sleep app that creates the best condition for a deep, sound sleep. It’s changed my life.
- I’ve stopped letting email control my life. I have committed to check my email only three times a day (I’m not there just yet). I delete everything I can with great efficiency, I respond to the majority quickly, and the rest I read, contemplate and reply to when I have the best response. It may sound like a small thing, but it’s not.
- It’s a treat to be in the company of optimistic, confident, ambitious people, people who I can see are changing things, making them better and asking “Why not?” You’d be amazed at how much difference it makes to be in the company of people who “ZAP” you with good energy versus “SAP” the life force from the room.
- This time of year is known as the “Giving Season.” Americans will give 25% of their total annual donations to charity over the next 60 days. In addition, individuals were responsible for 72% of all donations in 2014 (as opposed to corporations, bequests or foundations), and 2015 was the highest giving year in history with over $373 billion donated. That’s something to be proud of. There is so much more we can do, of course, but I’m reminded that it’s the treat we give to others that makes us feel the best.
- Treat yourself and your team by prioritizing what needs to be accomplished these final weeks of 2016. Clarity on what must and can be completed before the year’s end allows everyone to focus on a strong finish and enjoy the holiday season, vacations and time away from work. The tradition at 360 is for the team to bring all of the work to be completed to our leadership team so we are aligned, achieve all deadlines and have a clear mind when it is time to enjoy our families. What’s your team’s tradition for the end of the year?
I’m sure you have a few tricks and I hope a lot of treats. Share them today with someone you care about.