If you are anything like me, if it is not on the calendar of life it does not exist.
I calendar reminders to call/e-mail people that are on the top of my list. Most are once a month until forever. It pushes me to take an action versus waiting for the "free time" moment that never comes.
People always ask me for "tips", quick strategies, easy fixes, three easy steps to a better life through networking and mentoring. Of course, they don't use these exact words but in our short attention span theatres where an extra nano-second starts our minds to wander--we want instant gratification and success. Clearly this is a very dangerous mode--impatient, get to the point, give me the answer--mindset that can be the ruination of relationships--the heart and soul of networking and mentoring. Not going to lecture you on the power and wisdom of attention, presence, and smelling the roses. We all are well aware of how much of life, the density, complexity, the magic, the wonder we miss everday.
Here is a "tip" that will hopefully slow your turbo kayak down. In the rushing river of life, we tend to focus on the rapids and not on the scent in the air, the clarity of the water or the scenery. Parts of the shoreline beckon but we ignore them because we are too busy fighting the river alone.
Using our attention to be intentional.
Think about how many times you experience the following:
- You encounter an old friend, a former colleague and they say, "Let's get together."
- You get an e-mail/FB friend or Linkedin request from someone you don't see any more and they say, "Love to see you soon."
- A friend of yours says we should walk, play golf, have dinner more often.
More often than not WE go into auto pilot/robot brain and respond with meaningless words like "Sure" or "That would be great" or "Let's do it", words that mean nothing to you or the recipient because there is no When!
When someone you just met or want to see again or someone new or known offers you an opportunity to connect--you pull out your trusty iPhone or blackberry and you say--What's convenient for you? Let's book something now.
There is no other time but NOW. There was a past NOW and there will be a future NOW. Eckart Tolle
When is the key here? Otherwise the real answer becomes the day after never. :)
Schedule your priorities. Schedule your connections. Put it into your calendar.
If it is not on the calendar of life then it does not exist.
Let's have lunch When?
We should catch up When?
Love to see you more When?
Two things happen when you practice this. 1. You book a tentative date. 2. The other robot wakes up and realizes what words have fallen out of his mouth and makes an instant excuse by saying something like "Let me get back to you, I'm really busy.... :)
This is especially entertaining when someone is trying to impress you and unconsciously makes an offer to hook you up with special treatment, access to something, some VIP deal... you know what I am talking about. If you say to them, love to take you up on that, when can I talk to you about specifics? I do this almost every time a "big shot" says "love to host you at my club (golf-and a course I want to play)". I shoot back, "I always wanted to play there, what dates work for you?"
I am all for serendipity and spontaneity, but the next step has to get onto a calendar.
Force yourself to schedule things that are important to you. Don't let important people, opportunities and priorities watch you pass by as you are busily fighting the river.
I guarantee you these new scheduled connections will provide you with incalculable benefits.
Stop prioritizing your schedule. Schedule your priorities. When will your calendar reflect your priorities?
Thanks for reading. John
PS: When could stand for Why Humans Evade Networking.