Did you know that many countries around the world do not celebrate the New Year on the same day as we do here in the United States? China and Korea celebrate in late January; while Vietnam and Mongolia celebrate New Year in late February. Hindu’s and Persian’s celebrate the New Year in March. Several countries us a Solar system to base their New Year’s these include Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Cambodia, and the Assyrians. Ethiopians celebrate their New Year September 11th. Rosh Hashanah ushers in the New Year for Jews. To me the silent turn of the calendar to 1 -1 or the silent movement of the hands of the clock to a year which begins white as snow with unlimited possibilities is intriguing.
It has always made me curious why people love to have their days so full of appointments that they need to keep looking at their device to see what is next. I know someone who is one of these people who is just too booked to keep track of their own calendar. Once while speaking with this person the following incident happened: I asked the person to take their phone and look up the number of someone they regularly speak to in another country. Then I asked the person to tell me how many unopened emails are showing up on that little envelope icon, how many updates for their phone? Are you curious as to the numbers? Well, 5,000 on the unopened emails, and 25 updates!! Are you surprised? I wasn’t. To make this conversation even more obvious that this person is too booked and too distracted, in the middle of our conversation that same phone rang and the person took the call. The other person on the one end asked this: “….are you coming to our meeting?….” The person I was talking too said: “….what meeting? When did it get scheduled?….” The reply was one half hour ago. How can someone function with this going on in their work life? I know I sure can’t.
If you can relate even partially to the incidents in the paragraph above, I would strong suggest that you take the time to do a “Reflect and Respond” exercise here at the end of the year. Reflect and Respond is a great way to begin your 2018 New Year. This is a simple exercise, but I promise you it will garner great results. No matter how you plan your 2017 either by paper or electronically, you can do this reflect and respond exercise. Look at each day all 365 of them in 2017. If you spend 5 minutes or less on each day it will take you a little over an hour to look at your entire year. As you look at each day, ask yourself, “How did I feel this day went?” What we are getting at is this; let’s say you went to your son’s ball game and you smiled – interpreting the smile to mean = I will continue to make time to go to my son’s ball games in 2018. Let’s say one week you attended a conference for 3-days and came away feeling uninspired and flat and got no new customer leads = I will not waste my time attending this conference in 2018. Got the idea now? So go through that calendar and decide what merits your valuable time and what does not.
I hope that you see like my friend that there is no way you can “clean-up” your email in-box with 5,000 unopened emails. You need a better system. You need to learn how: “To Think” and to have a designated time and place to THINK.