Archive for March, 2012

Timesaving lessons come from different places. Are you ready to learn?

Posted in Balance, Leadership, Management, Self-management, Teamwork, Time management, Time management/Self-management on March 15, 2012 by Chuc Barnes

Four weeks ago my wife and I were meeting with my doctor, a cardiologist, who praised me for my perfect health. He was discussing results from a series of medical tests I had taken as part of a routine physical. He said my blood pressure was good, My EKG test results were excellent, and the stress test I had taken looked great.

My doctor then told my wife that she was lucky that I was in such good health. He pointed out that he was waiting for results from one more test I had taken and he said, “If you want to stick around, I’ll give you the results of that test too.” My wife and I decided to wait and learn those results too.

About 15 minutes later the doctor came back in the office, looked me in the eye, and said, “I’m sorry to tell you that I have some bad news for you. You have a serious issue occurring inside your heart and you need open-heart surgery as soon as possible. He then said, “I need for you to follow me down the hall while I arrange for a surgeon to meet with you at once.”

Notice how quickly everything changed. In one minute I was being praised. I had no pain. My blood pressure was good, and yet one test in a routine physical pointed out that I needed to have open-heart surgery at once.

I went through the surgery and a week later was released from the hospital to go home. Meanwhile, my son Brett came to be with me during the surgery. He stayed for five days and I couldn’t help laughing because we seemed to have a role reversal in our relationship. Brett quickly became the dad and I became the son. More specifically, he kept saying, “Dad, why are you doing that? That task won’t help you. Why don’t you just learn to sit there, relax, and stop doing so much?”

A week later my son Todd replaced Brett and when I went outside to bring some empty trash containers in the house, Todd yelled at me and said, “Dad, what are you doing outside? Why don’t you learn to just sit still and relax?” Todd said, “Dad, you’re going to have to change some of your habits if you want to heal.”

When Todd had to leave, my son Scott showed up and, whenever I did something new, Scott told me I needed to learn to sit still and enjoy the moment. He said that if I did that I’d get better ideas and I’d help my body heal faster.

And you know what? All three of my sons were right. I did need to learn to slow down and stop handling so many of different tasks. In other words, I had to switch habits and learn to relax and let my body heal.

I began to follow the advice from my sons. Instead of diving into each task and each new priority, I began to write them down and schedule times to handle them later. That helped a lot and, when being quiet, I began to get better creative ideas.

Four weeks have passed since my surgery, and I’m able to drive a car, attend business meetings, and meet with friends. Not only that, each doctor and nurse has praised me for the way I’m healing so quickly. I told each of them that I had to learn what my sons told me and sit still, sleep a lot, and let my body heal. They agreed.

Here’s my question for you. Are you busy being “busy” and handling lots of ongoing tasks like I was doing? Why not follow the advice my sons gave and take time off to smell the flowers and enjoy each moment? I promise that you’ll be glad you did.

And, by the way, I keep saying prayers, not just for my wife and sons who helped a lot, but also for every doctor and nurse who worked with me. Each one was a true professional who did–and continues to do–everything possible to help me heal.