I have a newfound focus on how I spend my time since a recent opportunity to work with Stephen Covey’s Time Management Matrix and it tied in perfectly to my all-time favorite podcast for this time of year: IT’S SEPARATION SEASON with Ed Mylett.
The idea behind this podcast is that from now until the end of the year is the time when most people take their foot off the accelerator and coast to the finish line with the expectation that they will pick it back up in the new year and not miss a beat. They justify with the following lies that they tell themselves:
- Nobody wants to meet during the holidays.
- It’s been a really busy year and I deserve a break.
- Everybody eats bad during the holidays.
- I normally wouldn’t drink during the week but it’s a holiday party so it’s OK.
- I’m going to spend the next couple of months business planning for the upcoming year.
Whether it is in our business life or personal life, this is an easy trap to fall into because of the compelling justification of the holidays and more importantly, it is what most everyone else is doing. But what would happen to our productivity and to the attainment of our goals if we simply did not take our foot off the accelerator or even better, ascribed to the commitment of Just One More? One more sales call each day, one more item checked off the To-Do list, or one more workout to our week will separate you from the masses who use the holidays as an excuse to coast to the finish line. And better yet, we will maintain our momentum going into the new year while those who took the holiday hiatus will have to overcome the inertia that set in while we didn’t do anything remarkable other than maintain or slightly increase our efforts!
Separation season is an equally important time of year for the ultra-competitive person who wants to blow the doors off anyone they compete with as well as the person who simply wants to be a little bit better tomorrow than they are today. For the former, it is difficult to catch and surpass someone in front of you who is working equally hard, but the gap often disappears when they slow down and we speed up. For the latter, we are not separating from the person we are today because something is wrong with us but because separation from our current self is growth and as humans, we all crave safety, sustenance, and growth.
Separation Season is about mindset. When we do things that others aren’t willing to do or what the “Former Us” wouldn’t do, we are training our minds that we deserve all the things that others or the “Former Us” didn’t deserve or get in the past. SEPARATION SEASON IS ALL ABOUT CHANGING OUR PERCEPTION ABOUT WHAT WE ARE CAPABLE OF ACHIEVING!
Nothing special, nothing extraordinary. Nothing even remotely complicated. Your work today and every day will separate you from those who take an average approach. OR your efforts will drift toward average. You will become part of the statistical mountain in the middle of the bell-shaped curve and another who didn’t coast will earn the rewards of Separation Season.