For well over 1,000 days, I have trekked from my kitchen down to my desk, set my cup of coffee on the coaster, and sat down to wake up my computer without incident. Today, the coffee spilled.
It spilled all over my workout calendar, all over the keyboard, all over the desk, and dribbled onto the floor. Thankfully, it was just a healthy slosh instead of the full mug, but it had me wondering why.
Why would a small task that I’ve executed flawlessly for years now become one I botched?
After grabbing a towel, I tried to figure it out. I remember thinking about all I needed to do once I plopped down in my chair and that I needed to retrieve my planner from the closet after hiding it away during Christmas when my office transforms into a guest room.
My brain was clearly ahead of my hand, and as I set down the cup, my focus shifted toward the closet resulting in not landing the coffee cup on the coaster but teetering it on the edge with a splash.
In gymnastics, they talk about sticking the landing after the last move of a routine. It’s about controlling all that momentum for a final display of athleticism as the gymnast brings their legs and feet to a full and complete stop prior to throwing up their hands in accomplishment. Today, I didn’t stick the landing. I unceremoniously set down my cup and kept right on moving toward my planner. I didn’t pause. I was already on to the next task before the previous one was complete.
And the result was a literal mess.
How often do we move on to the next thing in life before sticking the landing?
Today’s spill was a small, albeit messy, reminder of how important it is to be in the moment. To be purposeful in tasks, even in the things we’ve done 1000 times before. Small actions like tucking in the kids, saying I love you to your special person, and yes, even setting down our filled-to-the-brim cup of caffeine.
In this new year, I hope you can stick more landings than in 2022.
The pace of life doesn’t need to be a mad dash to the end of the day.
- You can sprint through writing an e-mail, but take a moment to read it before sending.
- You can facilitate an efficient meeting, and pause the debate to hear from the participant who was interrupted to finish their thought.
- We can slow down enough to be purposeful in our daily tasks, to be in the moment, and to avoid the spills of life that come where we jump to the next thing too quickly.
To stick the landing on the moments that matter, we need to practice in the moments when no one is watching.