Do you ever have those times when you’re just plain really busy?
In fact, I’ve been there a lot lately with all the shifts and changes happening in my career, and all the shows and speaking I’ve done lately.
Now, here’s the thing about me.
I can be in one of these busy places, and yet I’ll find myself spending a good 30 minutes scrubbing the kitchen faucet with an old toothbrush or something inane like that.
Enter The Drill Sergeant.
There’s this little perfectionist Drill Sergeant in me that tries to keep everything on task and doesn’t want anything to go wrong. She knows that I’m such an “in-the-moment” person that it’s very easy for me to wander off on little activity tangents that often involve scrubbing things with old toothbrushes.
The Drill Sergeant means well, but she can get a little power-hungry…
“You have to leave for Albany tomorrow,” she barks. “You don’t have time to write that email!”
“No you can’t go out for lunch tomorrow! You have a phone meeting to prepare for!”
These busy times don’t last forever, of course. But when I have them, it’s important that I do stay focused and on-task, so I don’t mind a little help from the Drill Sergeant.
One day when I was in such a busy state, I thought of my friend Kathy. I thought of how we hadn’t really talked in a few weeks. I wondered what was going on, how her house sale was going, and how her law school applications were coming along.
I was just about to grab the phone to call her and say hi when I heard the Drill Sergeant remind me of my schedule.
She was right.
I had a flight the very next day, and a meeting with my accountant that afternoon.
So, I created a compromise.
I called Kathy.
When she picked up I said, “This is officially an Imperfect Hello. I know we have a million things to catch up on, and that if I were truly a good friend, I’d set aside an hour for catching up. I don’t have an hour. But I was thinking of you. And I’d rather say hello imperfectly than not say hello at all.”
Kathy knows me well, and she has several of her own perfection-seeking Drill Sergeants in her head.
She burst out laughing, and said, “Well, I’m so glad you opted for imperfection!”
We talked for about 3 minutes, and we both hung up smiling.
I’m writing this post today for two reasons:
The first reason is that many of you have your own busy lives. I know it’s easy to put people aside because you’re holding out for a more “perfect” version of yourself, or for a few unscheduled hours of free time when you can really catch up.
This is your official permission to not be perfect.
Try the Imperfect Hello some time. I’ve used it a lot in these past two months. It keeps you connected, it allows you to stay focused, and it builds your courage, too. (Besides, most people love the idea and will start using it themselves!)
The second reason is that I’m home this week catching up after two months of nearly constant traveling, and this is – as you might have guessed – an “Imperfect Blog post.” 🙂