With the arrival of a newborn baby daughter at our house, this summer I’ve found myself at home more than any other. I anticipated the arrival by freeing up my schedule. I’m used to filling up the calendar with shows, meetings and appointments, but now its blank. From past experience I find that whenever I have a blank slate, I look forward to it initially. I know it will provide me the opportunity to do work that I’ve either put off, or just haven’t had the chance to get to. But after awhile, I miss the routine that a rigid schedule brings.
Time management is one of the main challenges when you work for yourself.
One thing that helps put me in the right frame of mind is thinking of how an athlete will train in the off season.
Come training camp, regardless of the sport, stories emerge players that have gained weight and failed fitness tests. On the other hand, some players arrive in great shape, shedding weight and look ready to dominate.
Some players work on their weaknesses in the off season. Others add a new move to their arsenal.
It makes me think of a great line from Robin Sharma, in his book “Extraordinary Leadership” when he asks the question:
How hard do you work when no one is watching?
How hard do you train when there isn’t a big game on the near horizon.
How hard to do you practice when there isn’t an upcoming event.
But that’s what sets peak performers apart from their average counterparts.
As a musician in Canada, I often think of Winter as my off season. There aren’t as many shows or events taking place, and as a result I spend more time in the studio in December thru February. My goal is making some music with a summertime vibe that will be bump when the sun is shining. It might be dreary and freezing outside, but mentally I know that six months isn’t that far away and that I need to be attacking my goal today.
I also think of Stephen Covey’s habit “Begin With the End In Mind” when I think of off season training. It’s important to have the end goal in order to stay motivated through daily monotony.
It takes daily displicine in order to Stay Driven!