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April 9, 2024 5 mins

Be prepared for something wonderful

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
Welcome to Before Breakfast, a production of iHeartRadio. Good Morning,
This is Laura. Welcome to the Before Breakfast podcast. Today's
tip is to leave room for opportunity. Why is time?
Managers know to leave a buffer for things to go wrong,

but it is also possible that something could go amazingly right.
You want to leave space for that opportunity. So I
am sure you have had the experience of feeling like
your calendar is packed absolutely full. Then someone floats a
vague idea and you're vaguely interested, but there's no real space,

so you don't pursue it. I am also sure that, you,
like me, have had the experience of something random turning
into something really cool. A getting to know you chat
turns into a full fledged collaboration. An invite to walk
with a group some morning turns into several close friendships.

Now I know this is a balancing act. One of
the most common productivity tips out there is to say
no more often, and there's definitely something to that, especially
if you have trouble with boundaries. On the other hand,
almost every new cool thing in life comes out of
a yes. Sometimes the yes is obvious. Why yes, I

would like a big raise and a promotion thank you,
But often that yes comes after a few conversations and
a few follow ups that lead there. So given this
balancing act, I think the best approach is two part. First,
be utterly ruthless about saying no to stuff that is

of zero interest or really doesn't feel like a good
use of your time. I include regularly scheduled work meetings
in this. They need to earn their keep on your calendar.
But then leave some space to be open to opportunity.
I try to leave Fridays pretty open. If something goes wrong,

I have room for the overflow. But because I think
of Fridays as open time, I am also willing to
put potentially interesting stuff there without viewing it as being
in competition with everything else I am doing. The upside
is that then if somebody wants to meet or chat
about something and it seems like it could be interesting,

I can set that up on Fridays. I often do
lunches or coffees on Fridays. Most don't lead to anything.
Most stuff in life just doesn't, but some does. Perhaps
you can try to leave a little space open in
your life for opportunity to On the professional front, maybe

Fridays would work, or maybe it's some afternoon each week.
Sometimes you'll need this space for emergencies, but sometimes you
can use it for being open to randomness. I think
this can work in our personal lives as well. I
am a big fan of planning weekends ahead of time,

but I do get a little concerned when all the
weekends for the next few months start to look booked up.
I know that there will be a cool trip, or
a friend will be visiting town, or someone will throw
a party that would be fun to go to. Best
to leave at least a little open space. I will

be taking a trip in May with a friend that
she suggested randomly, so I am glad that all my
May weekends weren't full. Productivity is always about a balance,
but the truth is that we seldom know before any
bit of time all the things that we will need

or want to do by the end of that bit
of time. We need to leave space for emergencies, because
we all know that emergencies happen, but good things can
come up to the good news is that it is
usually possible to proactively schedule in your priorities and leave

space for what comes up. Time is vast. A little
bit of randomness can make your time a lot more fun.
In the meantime, this is Laura. Thanks for listening, and
here's to making the most of our time. Thanks for

listening to Before Breakfast. If you've got questions, ideas, or feedback,
you can reach me at Laura at Laura vandercam dot com.
Before Breakfast is a production of iHeartMedia. For more podcasts
from iHeartMedia, please visit the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or

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Laura Vanderkam

Laura Vanderkam

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