It's Tuesday at 2:00pm! (PST Time: I live and work from Southern California)
Have you ever had one of those "Bad Travel Days"?
I had one this past weekend. I was returning from 9 days in Latin America, and went to the airport to catch a very routine flight (a trip that I have made many, many times).
I'm told the flight was cancelled. I wasn't given a good reason, but the simple reality was that I would have to reschedule. I travel a lot, and I've learned that I have 2 responses: First, I can get angry and even explosive, which doesn't do anyone any good or Second, I can take a deep breathe and realize that it's out of my hands and work together for the best outcome. I chose the second approach (I'm learning!)
I was scheduled for a later flight, and was then able to spend about 12 hours at a hotel catching up on sleep, catching up on some communication and even getting a nap. It wasn't so bad.
I departed for the evening flight, checked in and was told the plane had a slight delay.
I again responded with grace and took advantage of a couple of hours to catch up with some great friends that happened to be in the airport at the time. This was a blessing!
They left for their flight, and my flight continued to be pushed back. Finally, 3 hours late, we boarded the plane. I had to rebook my connections, but I would get home. As I sat on the plane, they stopped boarding, and had us all get off. This was now at 2:30am. No communication, no explanation. After 30 minutes in the waiting area where many people were trying the "anger and explosive" option, they told us that they had a scheduling problem that resulted in the crew not being able to fly. The option: Have everyone get their bags, stamp their passports, and head to the city (an hour away) to give the crew time to sleep and rest and then depart at 2:00pm.
Now, I had been working on this flight for almost 20 hours by this time. I wasn't ready to take that option, so I jumped on the phone and was able to navigate a new flight departing at 4:30am on a completely different airline and route, and I made it home, just about 44 hours after I had begun my journey. I have no idea where my bag might be, but it will catch up to me at some point.
I was frustrated, but was able to navigate the "scheduling incident" with grace, knowing that the people I was talking with at the airport had nothing to do with the real issue.
I share this story because we're talking about PRODUCTIVITY.
Last week I shared this answer:
Why is personal productivity important?
"Because it allows you to either accomplish more things in the same amount of time, or accomplish the same amount of things in less time (whichever is more important for you). It also gives you the feeling of being in control of your own time and by extension, of your own life."
The airline illustration and experience is shared for a reason. Here it is:
As a leader, when you struggle with productivity, with time management, with your organization, with your schedule, with your goals and priorities, others will be affected.
Many times we think that it just affects us. This isn't true.
Someone with this airline made some mistakes. I watched and listened to people scream, complain and even cry. That mistake caused some problems for a lot of people. Over 200 on my first flight. Over 200 others on my second flight. It also affected the workers at the airport, and I can't imagine what the hotel lobby was like when the bus of angry, tired travelers arrived.
Your decisions affect other people.
With leadership comes responsibility. Don't take this lightly.
I was reminded this weekend of how many people I've disrupted over the years with my lack of clear communication, my lack of preparation, and my ineffective use of time.
As you learn to manage yourself and increase your effectiveness, you will impact EVERYONE around you, and they will be more effective too.
If you've messed some people up, you might want to take a minute and write a note or make a call to apologize. I'm still waiting for the airline to call me and apologize for disrupting my life, my schedule, my plans and my physical health! It would be really nice to hear from them, but I won't hold my breath.
Last week I asked you to share something on productivity. I received a couple of notes, but would like some more.
Think of the ONE Personal Productivity TIP that has made the biggest impact in your life, and share about it in 200 words or less. We'll then learn collectively from each other, but these are proven things that have actually made a difference in our lives.
Send me a note HERE, and next week I'll begin sharing what people are thinking about. Let's help each other be more productive and in turn, more effective!
“Efficiency is doing things right; Effectiveness is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker
What has made the biggest impact on your productivity? Share it with us...