Timing is Everything

I picked up a local newspaper Wednesday morning and laughed out loud when I got to the "Life" section. There was an article entitled, Winning Tomatoes-Home cooks make magic with summer specialty. It was complete with a gorgeous picture of homegrown tomatoes. Let's review, class. The date of the article: September 3, 2008. While it was a good read, the timing was less than ideal. Most tomato plants in our area are producing little or no tomatoes, and the ones we can pick are often small, tainted by disease or insects and lack the taste of the ones produced a month or so ago.

Imagine the impact this article would have had back in late July when tomatoes were abundant. Many avid gardeners would have been thrilled to see the article and use the recipes contained within it. Now, the article is merely a tease for next year's growing season.

As humans we often attempt to improve our circus by performing the right act at the wrong time. The act is a failure or at best a limited success because the timing just wasn't the best. Some examples include:

  • Exercise: We try to start exercise programs in the evening. Research (and my own personal experience) has shown that morning is the best time.
  • Healthy Eating: Many people try to begin healthy eating immediately after a holiday. What a shock to your system. A better solution is to begin moderating DURING the holidays so the transition is not as difficult.
  • Managing Others: Instead of dealing with smaller issues in a simple, non-threatening way, we wait until they magnify into much larger ones and create a negative work environment.
  • Dealing with Interruptions: How often do we wait until the interruptions have completely derailed our day-and then attempted to do something about it? Imagine the difference if we proactively planned for those interruptions before they stifled our productivity.

The next time you plan your lineup, ask yourself, "Is this the best time to bring these acts into my lineup?" If the answer is "no" try to move them to a more appropriate time. You don't want people laughing at you when your act is less than a success.