Tonight, as I was completing my daily chores, I had an epiphany. Walt Disney World and work really can be the same experience. I know, I know – call me nuts but hear me out on this one.
Work has been (fill in the blank here) lately, which is normal – we all have slumps at work. The past few weeks have been crazy busy, high stress and go-go-go. People who know me know this is not my style. I am a very hard worker – efficient, organized, blah, blah, blah. I am a planner and thus begins the epiphany.
If you have never been to Walt Disney World, make a plan to go. It doesn’t matter what kind of financial situation you are in right now, you can set a goal to go in two years and start saving. Have a yard sale in the spring, summer and fall x2 years – put it all away. If you get a tax refund, put it away. Planning is a huge, fun part of going there. I’ve been twice and the last time I went, I planned it for a year. There is a joy in planning that I can’t explain. You have to live it to know it. When you go, you will not be disappointed!! When you come back, read the rest of this post (or say heck with it and read on anyway).
If you have been to Walt Disney World, a.k.a. The Happiest Place on EARTH, you might get this. It might just be me. I only know my experience and this is what I will share.
When we pick a date to go to Disney, the planning begins. We could pick a date 1 year away or 4 years away, it doesn’t matter. We plan. Planning includes looking at brochures, maps, blogs, listening to web casts, checking out the Disney web page, looking for a place to stay (do we stay on site or off site), where we might eat at the parks, and so on and so forth. We make spreadsheets listing which rides we want to go on, where we want to see the fireworks (I’m a nerd wannabe who married a nerd, stop with the hatin’, people), how much meals will cost if we eat here or there, food and drinks to bring in to the park, shoes to purchase at least six months prior to going to break in for the miles of walking we will do, etc. The whole point is: we plan.
When we get there, we have fun. Half the plans we spent months planning go out the window (figuratively; we don’t litter) and we enjoy the time we have there as a family and as individuals. Even when things go awry, they turn out even better than expected because we embrace the experience. I wholeheartedly believe the positive energy we have when we are there is because of the time we spent preparing for the trip.
So why isn’t work like a trip to Disney World? At work, we perform tasks at a fast pace. When we work on projects, we try to take the time needed to complete it but we have other projects running at the same time and since one project has a later deadline date, we instead focus on the project that requires completion by the end of the week. Then, next week comes and another project pops up, a new task is assigned, or we are out sick! When we move past those unexpected hurdles, we come to the realization that that project we put off is due ASAP and we hurry through it, stressed and anxious about the end result.
This is where we need to say STOP. Breathe. Realign the priorities. PLAN. We don’t have time to do that? Answer me this, how do we have time NOT to do this? Think about it, we run around like chickens to the feed. Eat the corn over here, gobble it up then move to the next pile. They don’t take time to taste it or even appreciate the company at the meal or the ambiance of the setting. I, for one, want to taste that corn, admire the other chicken’s feathers, stare into the setting sun and smell the dirt. I want to enjoy the task at hand.
Tomorrow, when I go to work, I will PLAN my day, my week and my next week. I will leave space to cover those urgencies that pop up randomly (they always come up) and space to get my cup of coffee in the afternoon. I will look at my big projects and little projects and begin working on my timelines. I will refine them as I move through the motions and I will celebrate the victories. And eventually, I will have such a spectacular plan that even when things go awry, I’m going to embrace the experience. Join me and share your experiences here! And let me know how your Disney trip turns out!