When Planning and Parenting Intersect

| by Katie Weeks

I recently had an initial meeting with a client who is ready to establish new annual campaign strategies.  I left feeling energized to start making an impact right away.  The number of things we could do was long and I was ready to dive right in…

When I arrived home, a package had arrived from Grandma for my 3-year-old son, Ian.  Within 20 seconds, he was begging to open it.  I said a quick goodbye to our sitter and within a minute I was on the floor, Facetiming with Grandma, Ian in front of me, and a cranky-teething one year old on my lap. 

The package was opened in less than a minute. The gift inside included two monster trucks and a track, with about 20 piece.  AGH!!! 20 pieces?  Really? 

Ian wanted to play, NOW. So, as any mom would do, I tried to keep the one-year-old, the three-year-old and Grandma on the iPad happy, while I unpacked the pieces and tried to put it together.  It didn’t take long for me to have it put together… completely wrong.  Ian looked at it and said “Mom, the track isn’t right. It isn’t flat.” And sure enough, in my haste and general chaos of young kids, the pieces had been put together wrong.

I took a deep breath, told Grandma that we would call her later, got the one year old a snack, found a game for the three-year-old and sat down and looked at the directions. Sure enough, although some of the pieces looked the same at first glance they were actually very different.  In no time, the track was back together, correctly. The three-year-old was happy and Grandma was called and thanked.

It didn’t take me long to realize how similar putting together the track was to the client meeting earlier in the day.  If decisions are made too quickly and with distractions, the results might seem right but not quite fit together correctly. And then, it can take more time in the long run.  Taking the time, to analyze the situation, means being thoughtful and intentional.  In the end, it really pays off. This week, I am analyzing the client’s data, reading through tons of material, and telling Grandma to pick toys that don’t need to be put together!

I’m curious… what areas of your work may need a little more analysis before you jump in and just start DOING?


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