We would all like to believe that we control our time.
For anyone who is a planner, or maintains an organized calendar, or focuses on time-saving hacks, we imagine that we have a firm grip on our schedule.
Then comes the punch.
It’s the shocking occurrence that throws our entire schedule into chaos.
I was recently listening to the 5AM Miracle podcast that focused on a statement that Mike Tyson once uttered after winning a fight. An interviewer asked Tyson about how he had followed his game plan during the fight, and Tyson, almost insulted by the question, answered “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
There are many instances where time controls us, sudden emergencies that overtake everything else we wanted to accomplish.
When the punch comes, we only have a few options:
Stick to your game plan. The punch often stings, but sometimes you can stay true to your plan. This might mean ignoring the interruption and plowing through with your plans. This might be the option that most impacts others around you, especially if they are involved in the emergency. I would only recommend this choice if you absolutely must stick to your plan.
Take it and stay down. When our schedule is suddenly interrupted by something unplanned, we can just accept it, scrap any other plans we had, and spend time recovering from the interruption. Sometimes, it best to just start fresh the next day, even if it means losing a day.
Take it, then counterpunch. Deal with the emergency, then rearrange your plans to make sure that you are still getting done some of what you set out to accomplish. This can be draining, but also feel more satisfying. Plus, it can often help to take our mind off of the unexpected punch. Punching back just feels better.
The punch eventually connects with all of us at some point, but the key is how we respond.
How do you respond when you get punched?