Virtuosos Schedule What’s Important. (“Nobody Gets In To See The Wizard. Not Nobody. Not No How.”)
Novelist, William Faulkner, was asked if he writes when he’s inspired, or at a regular time each day? He responded, “I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at 9 o’clock every morning.”
Writing is Faulkner’s most important activity. What is yours? What activity(s) generate your best results? Practicing? Prospecting? Presenting? Writing? Teaching? Calling on clients? Performing? Making sales calls? Whatever your most important activity is you need to book it. Schedule that activity every day and treat it like a contract with a client or a meeting with your CEO – you wouldn’t break or miss that appointment, would you? That’s how important this is.
For example, my most important activity other than live performance (which is already contracted) is my creative time. At the beginning of the week I put my creative times on my calendar in red, and I don’t allow other appointments. I tell people, “Sorry, I’m booked.”
I have a brilliant friend named Pat Hazell who is a world class comedy writer (Tonight Show, Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, Larry Miller). When it’s time for him to write he posts a sign on his door: “Nobody Gets In To See The Wizard. Not Nobody. Not No How.” (Wizard of Oz). Everyone knows when that sign is on his door, keep out.
It’s interesting how most of us will honor appointments with others, yet compromise time we’ve necessarily set aside for our important activities… and then find ourselves wondering, “Where did my day go?”
To be a virtuoso in your field you must schedule your most important activity first, do it, and allow nothing short of an act of God to change or interrupt you.