The most popular football cup in the US starts today, and all nation’s attention is brought to the stadiums. Even those who hate the Super Bowl can’t resist the buzz! And while enjoying the games (or maybe rolling eyes and expressing just criticism of the event), we can also learn something.
Strategical thinking, wise tactics and efficient timing are useful not only on the field, but at our work too. Even if we don’t play the Big Game in our everyday life, there are time management lessons that we can take from the Super Bowl players and teams. Here’s our list of the most important takeaways:
1. Don’t overperform in the beginning
Spending your energy wisely is key for winning – and successfully completing your work assignment too. It’s tempting to start with a productivity burst, but it’s often followed by a drastic performance decrease. What’s more, realizing how much the task requires after already investing in it all your emotional energy can cause tiredness, fatigue and eventually burnout.
That’s why regular (and timely) pauses are important. Remember of the half-time show! Entertainment in the middle of entertainment, you’d say? Probably yes, but for many fans as well as players, it’s not less important than the game itself, and not only because of the pop culture: it’s also a great opportunity to switch off and relax. Use a time recording app to plan your work and pause sessions.
Just like in a football game, manage your resources wisely, and be aware of possible energy depletion. Save it for the final phase! It’s not uncommon that the last minute determines the outcome – and that’s when you need to be energized.
2. Think strategically
Sometimes it’s possible to win without any strategic planning, but why count on a miracle? Teams who learn more about their competitors and plan their actions in advance win not by chance but by definition. Learning more on the process, detecting possible difficulties in advance, and being aware of hidden pitfalls of your work assignment helps you manage your time and efforts better.
Thinking strategically is also about being aware of your strengths and weaknesses, and knowing how to get the most value of the first and minimize the last. Applying general knowledge to specific situations is what ensures success both at work or on the football field.
3. Keep calm and do your job
Even in a hectic work environment, don’t give in to everyone’s panic. Instead, aim your efforts at your goal. Remember of Joe Montana, famous for his calmness and ability to see opportunity in chaos! Ignoring all signs of panic and not allowing to involve him in rush, he focused on the game and won points – almost magically, as it seemed to other players and fans.
Manage your physical, mental and emotional resources wisely, and avoid investing them in panic and turmoil. Be mindful about your priorities, and don’t re-prioritize without a valid reason. Staying outside of rush also means being a wiser decision-maker: this prevents emotionally driven decisions without good substantiation.
4. Have a plan but also take a chance
Sticking to a plan creates confidence and determination. But adapting a plan to the situation is what differs winners from everyone else. Circumstances change, unexpected events occur, and that’s why rigid plans usually don’t work out. Not being able to adjust the play when other team acts in an unexpected way is one of the common reasons of defeats.
Plan for possible changes in advance! Allow some flexibility, and always have a “plan B”. Even if you don’t need it eventually, you’ll feel more confident and relaxed with it, which means more efficient work and easier decision making.
5. Don’t give up until the last second
Many iconic moments of the Super Bowl happened in the last minutes of a game. Whether they change the final score or not, that’s what people remember and admire. And that’s what everyone would be proud of!
Along with saving energy for the final phases of your work, it’s essential to keep your motivation levels up to the last second. Remember why what you’re doing is important for you, find inspiration, and stay engaged. This will positively influence the quality of your work, make the final result better, and get you admiration and respect of your colleagues.
6. Take up your challenges
It’s not that you can foresee everything, but why not cushion the most challenging things? Like a coach points out the strongest players in the competitor’s team and plans in advance how to hold them off, prepare the list of the most complex and challenging tasks in your project and start dealing with them before any others.
It’s always tempting to put problems away and focus on what you already know how to do first. But such strategy never pays off as you’ll still have to face the same challenges later in the game. Don’t run away.
7. Handle uncertainty
Even in the games where the outcome seems predictable, there’s a good portion of uncertainty. Teams considered as underdogs win, and the strongest ones lose. Force majeure happen all the time so be prepared.
Technical problems, scope creep, people’s behavior – all of it requires attention and immediate action, as it affects project delivery time. Include possible risks when you plan deadlines and plan how to react in case of emergency. Then your team will be bulletproof.
Superbowl fascinates us because behind each game there’s hard work and strategic planning but still anything can happen before the final minute. Just like in our lives. That’s why taking some time management lessons from the Super Bowl while enjoying the games is a great idea – as long as watching it doesn’t jeopardize your deadlines!
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