Lessons Learned from Black Friday

In just two days, stores will open their doors in the wee hours of the morning, prices will be slashed, and normal, kind people will turn into crazed shopaholics. The Black Friday shopping ritual is a tradition for so many people that even their turkey hangovers can’t keep them away.

Even through the busyness and the craziness, you can learn valuable life lessons from your Black Friday shopping experiences. Remember these lessons as you are setting up your tent on the sidewalk tomorrow night:

1. You don’t have to accomplish everything on your own.

“I had my shopping list ready, but by the time I got to item number 3, it had been snatched up by other shoppers!” Teamwork allows you to use your skills where they will be the most productive. Where you have a weakness, you can lean on a teammate to pick up the slack. Just as shopping with a partner can improve efficiency and increase your success rate, working with others and using their strengths can make your project even better.

2. Don’t stick with tradition; other methods might improve your productivity.

“I never thought to check out online deals!” Don’t get so stuck in a rut that you miss out on the opportunities around you. Try new things once in a while, and you may find that your old method (sleeping in a tent outside of that electronics store) requires more effort than you need to put in.

3. Don’t procrastinate.

“I’m sure that $200 42” LCD will still be there this evening.” Don’t do that to yourself. If you want something, be proactive about getting it. And it’s easier to relax when your mind is clear and you feel a sense of accomplishment. Work first so you can truly relax later.

4. Be thorough in your research.

“I missed out on the sale for the exact TV we wanted because I didn’t read the Sunday paper.” You undoubtedly have projects that have imminent deadlines, but don’t forget to be thorough in your research before you dive in to the project. Brainstorm solutions so you don’t miss out on one that would work best for the situation and save you time. Know what you’re up against.

5. Artificial deadlines don’t help you.

“I’ve got to get all my shopping done TODAY!” You can still shop every other day of the year. Go through your “next actions” list and make sure you’re not imposing artificial deadlines on yourself. David Allen, when suggesting that we eliminate to-do lists in favor of our “next actions” list, tells us, “if there’s something on a daily to-do list that doesn’t absolutely have to get done that day, it will dilute the emphasis on the things that truly do” (Getting Things Done, p. 40). Make sure you are accurately processing your “stuff” so that you can maintain your productivity without getting overwhelmed.

What life lessons have you learned so far this holiday season?

Image by Idea go via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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