How Frankenstorm helped me tap into my planning side

Ahhh the QuietThe past few days have been all consuming with Frankenstorm aka Hurricane Sandy. She wrecked havoc on many areas in NY, NJ and CT. Happily, except for a few downed trees and spotty internet service, my area in NY wasn’t affected too badly. And my friends who were affected…have shared amazing stories of  banding together to find electric and water options.  I’m keeping them in my prayers.

At first, I found myself glued into the TV.  But after the 100th story of how bad the damage was…that and spotty cable coverage…my family and I opted to turn off the television and just hang out.

One of the things that struck me the most from the storm was the quiet.  After the initial impact of all of the winds and rain, it was incredibly quiet.  Most stores in our area and all of public transportation were shut down.   And the streets had an eery silence to them.

I was struck by the quiet for the first time in…quite some time.  The noise of the city…quiet.  Only a few cars ventured on the road.  The noise from stores and the hustle and bustle of people moving back and forth to work, school and everyday life…quiet.  The noise from the computer that is always on from someone doing work, surfing, checking email….quiet.

After I put Little Miss down for one of her naps, I relished in spending a quiet hour planning business goals for next year.  It was amazing how fast the ideas flowed.  I started thinking of marketing ideas, new services I could add to, topics for my video teaching series, etc. In that one hour, I got done more than I had in the prior month.  Somehow there is always some interruption.

Or wait a minute.  Is it really an interruption?  Or am I interrupting myself?

Hmmm…let me “listen” to the interruptions that typically derail me:

  • Oh I forgot to pay that bill.
  • Darn my Mom is going to be mad again because I forgot to stop by and pick up X.
  • Need to get working on that expense report.  But wait, did I get all of the receipts together? (Thumbing through receipts) Oh I forgot to mail this letter.
  • Little Miss is going need to X.  I need to get off this call and make a pit stop at the store

Maybe you recognize some of these “distractions”. I”m sure you have some good ones of your own.

What the storm helped me uncover is that I need time to completely decompress before the creative side turns on.  It’s not as easy as just scheduling time in the calendar.  Because during that time, I am still plugged into the chatter in my mind.  (And the email I haven’t answered in the past 2 min).

And it doesn’t matter if I am diligent about my writing down my tasks down in advance.

The chatter is still there.

So I have to wait until I am completely deplugged, quiet and able to focus on planning.

Sad that it took a major storm in my life in order for me to do it.

But inspiration to get someone to teach me how to really do it more regularly.  I am going to have to take a meditation class.

Now can anyone help me fit that into my schedule?

5 thoughts on “How Frankenstorm helped me tap into my planning side

  1. Bonnie Brown says:

    What a beautifully written blog post Malla! I loved reading it. You know how to express what we all are doing and feeling so poignantly.

  2. malla says:

    The key you said for me was the computer being turned on. It’s much easier to take advantage of this creative side before other priorities come up.

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. malla says:

    I would totally agree! I’m looking forward to finding this time. If you find any good strategies – pls do let me know!

  4. Nancy Tierney says:

    Oh, this is great! And so true. I, too, find that just scheduling that creative, productive time isn’t enough. It requires a state of mind and heart that needs to be prepped by quiet, unplugging and ease. I find if I give myself the hours of the morning to do this kind of work, I can be quite productive. But if I try to schedule it after the computer’s been turned on or the calls and emails have started to flood in… no. It ain’t going to happen.
    We didn’t lose power in this storm, which was miraculous. And I’m grateful. But I can’t help but think, what would I have accomplished if I’d been unplugged?

  5. Heather Stone says:

    Hi Malla,
    Interesting how interruptions in our daily schedule bring added insight. Now, the question becomes how to bring this focus into your daily life without the need for a mega-storm. I’ve been looking at how some limited Internet access since the storm has focused my own productivity. Now, how do I stay focused when things go back to normal?

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