This week we had a holiday and it was supposed to be a great day.
I had plans with the family, a scheduled workout with a friend, a list a mile high in the office, and woke up early just to ensure it all got done.
And then I looked outside.
Snow was not just falling lightly and delightfully, but rather something out of a nightmarish movie. Sideways, upways, swirling the dervish beyond any weatherman’s vocabulary could describe.
My cars were so buried in the driveway I knew what had to be done in order for the day to continue successfully.
Bundled up in my thermals, gloves, puffiest-downiest coat, I waddled out the door like Ralphie’s brother, Randy, on “A Christmas Story” and prayed I wouldn’t fall over and freeze to death in the driveway.
Shovel in hand, snow in my face, the race had begun: get the driveway done, sidewalk cleared, steps de-iced, and chip away at the encrusted cars without breaking precarious windshields with an ice axe.
45 minutes of sweating, heaving, backbreaking wet snow lifting, excited I had replaced my workout with real man’s work instead of my pre-planned frilly fella on elliptical pathetic-ness, I turned to take in my accomplishment…
Only to see the entire job had been replaced by more, wet, angry snow, as the storm did not let up.
Another round, another 30 minutes.
Snow cleared, emergency averted, day can continue!
Stumbling back into my house, quickly showered and starving, now long past 11 AM, there was NO WAY I would get my much needed, essential items accomplished for the day.
Barely rushing through emails from the weekend, and a few honey-do’s around the house, next thing I knew the Church was calling to come clear their walks!
From 4-5:30 PM, four faithful servants armed with swords of righteousness as shovels, we tackled the entire perimeter of our chapel, every step, doorway, while attempting to hide our cursing in woolen scarves, searing pains in middle-aged backs – oh wretched soul am I – under the sacredness of our chapel’s shadow.
The day was gone.
I felt as if I had done nothing.
The sun was down, as was I.
In reality I had accomplished a lot – I had removed enough snow to impress a golf cart with a plow blade stuck in a sand trap.
But my day was shot. Not one significant business item had been slayed.
“No kills today, my Love, we will eat tomorrow when I have more time to hunt.”
I don’t know how often you feel this way about your day.
Perhaps it’s the unexpected needs of a neighbor, your partner has just dumped the day’s responsibilities on you as you didn’t hear it was her turn to take a day off, maybe it’s even a real emergency that can in no way be diverted!
Excuses abound, and as Pressfield proclaims in his masterpiece, “The War of Art”, it is “that resistance which won the day – again!”
Truth is this, The Snow Shoveling Factor comes into play on a daily basis.
Open your emails first thing in the morning and everyone else’s TO-DO List suddenly becomes your TO-DO List!
The book you didn’t write, the speech you didn’t practice, the PowerPoint you never updated as you’re rushing out the door to your next presentation, only to find out during sound check you left your clicker in the home office drawer.
The rub is this: Don’t allow The Snow Shoveling Factor to become a daily occurrence.
There will be days like these.
There will be moments of disaster.
Don’t allow the distraction to derail your direction and determination.
Every single day for every single self-employed speaker, entrepreneur, and business owner can be a Snow Shoveling kind of day.
The Question is: What do you do with the next day?
The Answer is: Make up for yesterday with freakish and fanatical focus that makes you go, “Wow, the snow didn’t really ruin my week after all!”
Back at it my Friends 🙂
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