Does it feel like every day is the same, or is it just me? Sometimes I forget what day of the week it is, or the date, and no, I don’t think it’s just my age, or suffering from what we like to call “CRS” – Can’t Remember S… (you decide what comes next). I’m just not used to being home this much, and there was more of a variety in my schedule on the road. To be fair, when I was traveling a lot I often didn’t know what day of the week it was, either (CRS?). But this feels different.
The more things change, the more they remain the same
Are our days really like the movie Groundhog Day, where Bill Murray keeps waking up on the same day, and living it all over again? Well, let’s see. Today is Sunday, so what have I accomplished? I went for a 2-mile walk while doing French lessons on the Rosetta Stone app, had breakfast, ran some errands (buying more face coverings that, hopefully, don’t fog our glasses as easily), got lunch, had our weekly 4-State/4-generation family Zoom call (ages 3½ to 90), made a short video promo, completed a Keynote presentation deck for tomorrow, wished my connections Happy Birthday on Facebook and LinkedIn and now, I’m writing this article.
Is that a normal day for me?
Well, I try to work out and do French lessons every day. I wish my connections Happy Birthday on FB and LI every day. I eat breakfast and lunch, although I don’t usually go out to get it. I’m not usually making daily videos and not always working on presentation decks. It feels like I’m on Zoom calls every day, but not with my family. And I don’t write articles every day. So, today really isn’t the same as every other day, it’s similar.
Where’s your focus?
So, if our days really aren’t exactly the same, why does it feel that way? It’s because we focus on the sameness, not the different parts, that is, unless those different parts are memorable. If you landed a big sale (or these days almost any new sale), that would be memorable. If you checked off something notable from your to-do list (whether personal or professional), that would be memorable. If you launched a new website, or significantly updated your current site, that too would be memorable.
Many of you have heard me present on or read in my book “Your Attitude for Success”, about the difference between your To-Do List and your Today List. Our Today Lists are the parts that seem to be more like Groundhog Day, mostly because they’re the things in our lives that we have to get done Today. Things like answering emails, paying bills, walking the dog, cleaning the litter box, taking the kids to school (which may be down the hall) or to the park, doing the laundry… those are Today List items.
What have you accomplished since March?
Your To-Do List items are the bigger picture things. The things that you know you want to do, if you would only allocate the time to them. Notice I didn’t say “if you only had the time,” because we’re not getting any more time, we’re just using our 24 hours each day the way we prioritize them. When you break down those big things into little pieces and do even a small piece that moves that project forward, it’s a great feeling, and a memorable event. Writing some words towards that book you’ve been wanting to write is a small piece from a To-Do List. Buying the materials to be ready to paint a room in your home or office, is a piece of a To-Do List item. I finally got around to creating custom editions of my book “Shut Up and Sell More Weddings & Events”; one for Caterers & Venues and one for Disc Jockeys (entertainers, lighting and photo booth companies).
“Snap out of it!”
In the movie Moonstruck, Cher slaps Nicholas Cage and yells “Snap out of it!” When you’re feeling like you’re getting nothing accomplished, give yourself a virtual slap from Cher. You get to prioritize your own time. Sure, sometimes it feels like outside forces are doing it for you, and yes, sometimes you need to put out the fires in front of you. But many times, we get like a deer in headlights, unable to move from what we’re doing, even though we know we should be doing something else. Have you ever gone down the rabbit hole on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Amazon, getting “stuck” on that platform, wasting time you later wished you could get back? Just one more post, or page, or video, or product… and poof, another hour gone. Been there, done that.
Change your priorities
Just as we’re not going to get more time, we’re not going to get those things done unless we change our priorities. They’re yours alone to change. For me, working out in the morning is important, as I know that once my day gets going, exercise will not make it onto my schedule. Similarly, I do the FB and LI birthday wishes first thing, before I work out, that way I know they’re done (and with ‘friends’ all over the world, it’s almost the end of some of their birthdays by the time I get going). I tend to write my articles (like this one) in the evening or on the weekend, when there’s less distractions from email, texts, WhatsApp, social media and occasionally, the phone. No matter how I try to write these articles, or my books, during the workday, I never seem to give them the undivided attention they need. I used to write them on planes, but that’s off my plate for a while. So, instead of lamenting over how I can’t get them done, I adjust my time to do them when I know they’ll get done. Can you relate?
Moving Groundhog Day back to only once a year
The actual Groundhog Day is February 2nd, each year. That’s right, only one day where the little town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania gets the attention of millions, who want to see if the groundhog will see its shadow. If he, or she, sees its shadow, the legend states that there will be 6 more weeks of winter. If it can’t see its shadow, supposedly spring is on the way! If every day is feeling the same to you, like you’re living in your own version of Groundhog Day, the movie, then I urge you to write a new script. Envision your own remake of the movie, with you as the star, but blow up the premise and change what you do today, and tomorrow, and the next day. The changes don’t have to be big, but it would help if they were memorable.
Make time to eat an elephant
Have you ever heard the old adage “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”? That’s the way to change your script, one little change at a time. Break down those To-Do List items into little bites and do something. Get an accountability buddy and tell her what you’re going to do and have her check in with you to make sure you’re actually doing it. Join a Mastermind Group so you’ll be accountable to the group… and they’ll be accountable to you (guilt is a great motivator ). Get a mentor, no matter how long you’ve been in business. Get a coach. The best athletes in the world have coaches, not because they want to get good, rather because they want to get better. The never-ending pursuit of getting better, and more importantly, knowing that you CAN get better, is a great motivator. And, if you feel like you always have a new competitor opening up, then getting better is the best way to stave off the competition, new and established. Remaining stagnant makes it easier for competitors to take market share from you.
Adapt or die
If these unprecedented times have taught us anything, it’s that we need to be adaptable. OK, they also taught us how important that emergency fund would be (if you have one, good for you, and if you don’t, now you know how important that will be going forward). Whether you’re revamping your current products and services, or creating new ones, adapting is important, regardless of what’s going on in the wedding & events world. One of my clients said it well: “I’ve always been able to sell my way out of a recession, but this is different.” Yes, it is. A normal recession doesn’t affect the wedding industry as much as other industries. I’ve been around the industry long enough to have seen many, many ups and downs, only for the wedding industry to keep chugging along. Sure, we may have had some bumps and bruises along the way, but nothing prepared us for a total shut down of the industry. If ever there was a time to get creative, this is it. Whether going it alone, or with a Mastermind Group, mentor or coach, start scanning the horizon for opportunities. They’re out there, if your eyes and ears are open to them. Let’s all relegate Groundhog Day back to only February 2nd.
©2020 AlanBerg.com & Wedding Business Solutions LLC
Want to join a Mastermind Group?
I recently had an inquiry from a wedding pro about forming a Mastermind Group. While I’ve done one-day Masterminds for years, I’ve not formed a Mastermind Group because of my extensive travel. Well, we know how much travel I’m doing these days (I’m waiting for United Airlines to send me a ‘We miss you’ card).
So, I’m exploring the idea of forming a Mastermind of up to 7 progressive wedding pros, who want me to lead them through a collaboration of ideas, so each can get to one or more items on their To-Do List. We’ll meet once or twice per month, for 6-months, or a year.
Want to join us?
If you’d like to be considered for the Mastermind Group (yes, there will be monthly fee for this), call/text +1.732.422.6362, email Alan@AlanBerg.com or use the short form on this page, and let me know that you’d like to possibly join. I’ll be interviewing possible candidates to make sure that it will be a cohesive, productive group.