The Jump Shot

One day, two elderly men were talking about their favorite sport, basketball.

“I wonder if there’ll be basketball in heaven?” Ed asked.

“Of course there will,” Henson responded, “or it wouldn’t be heaven.”

Not long after that, Ed passed away; then, one night while Henson, was sleeping, Ed appeared in all his radiant glory- in a bright light at the foot of Henson’s bed. Henson was badly shaken.

“Calm down, Henson,” Ed reassured his friend.

“Everything’s going to be all right. I just came back to visit and to bring some good news and some bad news. ”

“What’s the good news?” Henson asked. “The good news is, there is basketball in heaven.”

“That’s great!” Henson responded. Then he paused and slowly asked, “Now, what’s the bad news?”

“Well Henson, the bad news is, you’re playing this coming Saturday.”

I love basketball and I used to play a lot of it when I was in high school.

I still have a lot of friends my age or even older who are still crazy about basketball.

That’s why somebody says: “OLD BASKETBALL players never die they just go on dribbling.”

Thinking back, I can’t dunk, I was too short, I ran a lot and I was fast and so lay ups and jump shots were the only ammunition I had. So let’s talk about jump shots. You would never see an NBA all-star toss a ball into the air casually and just crosses his finger and hopes that the ball hits the net. That’s for amateurs. Now look at the slowmo… Before each jump shot, players pause, find their footing, set their sights on the net, and visualize a swoosh before the ball has even left their fingertips. That’s what they do to make points and this is what you and I have to do in the workplace every start of the day to be productive. We should take the same approach at work by vi­sualizing a successful day before it officially begins. It all comes down to the first twenty minutes.

As soon as you get to work, before you turn on your e-mail or check your voice mail, take twenty minutes to plan the day ahead. Don’t just rush into your work without a plan. And here are some ideas on how you spend the first 20 minutes of your work day.

  • Define your top priority for the day. Remember- develop a mindset that says, there is only the word “PRIORITY” not “priorities.” There is going to be the one big important thing that you would sacrifice all others to achieve-to help fo­cus your energy. Next…..
  • Update your “To Do” list. Allocate time for the tasks you need to accomplish. And these would include meeting preparations, conversations and allow a little room for interruptions like unscheduled and unexpected phone calls. Next…
  • Prepare before hand the agenda for your meetings. Consider the people you will be meeting. Jot down the ideas you have that are important and will have to be discussed during the meetings. How many times have people spent hours in meetings and then hours later regretted the fact that there are important things they forgot to discuss about. Next…
  • And if nothing comes out of this exercise, cancel the appointments. This would simply mean a waste of your time.
  • Glance at your schedule for the remainder of the week and month to make sure you’re still focused on the right things.

Then check your e-mail (and voice mail) and start your day. This is like taking a jump shot. As you leaped up in the air, you focus and you train your eye and hands towards the goal and then shoot. There is always a system to everything you do. Do not the mundane drag you from doing the important. Live each day too the full for everyday is a gift from God. So the moment you enter your work place, think of the jump shot.

8 thoughts on “The Jump Shot

  1. Joyce Burton Titular

    Helllllo Francis! Thanks for the reminder on PRIORITIES!! I get so lost and befuddled in all the things I have to do for the house, the kids, the hubby and work. Oh, did I mention, I have something like 4 part-time jobs and a ministry!!! So, I need a big dose of God’s grace everyday 😛

  2. Mena T. Antolin

    Thank you for a very nice article. It would help me a lot at work. I have always admired the way you look at things and simplifying them to make it look easy. In fact, I have a clipping of your articles especially about customer service and then I discuss them in my meetings with the people. I work for Mercury Drug. We had a convention in Baguio last February, 2009 and when my boss asked for my suggestion for a speaker I gave your name because I believe we can learn a lot from you. I don’t know if they contacted you but when I asked I was told you were not available.

    God bless always.

  3. Kerwin Torregrosa

    Sometimes I wonder if I should do this first or that thing first…
    Priorities seems to be an oxymoron, Think about it You can’t do everything at once! You can only do one thing at a time. Is it ironic in the 21st century with all this amazing technology We seem to do more work, less time for ourselves, Sometimes we even work more and paid less.

  4. Balty Baltazar

    Hi, Mr. Francis. I really enjoy reading your articles. I liked most your bullet # 4, which said, “If you don’t have anything important to discuss, cancel the meeting.” I also liked the last bullet which tells us to review our calendars to know if we are still in the right direction. Like a sailor who constantly adjusts the mast of his boat, so would we in order not to get lost in this fast-paced, constantly changing world.

    Thanks, again, for your insights.

  5. Rasty Sanoy

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and ideas. You inspire many people! May the Good Lord continue to inspire you and bless you.

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