Of the many things this process has taught me, there are several that stand out as key learnings overall. Its hard to say how one should practice for these things, but likely knowing about them, reading books about them, and talking with others about them are a huge help.
The first thing that I have learned is how to get things done. I feel like I have always been quite productive in my life. Not quite sure where I got this, but ever since I turned 30, I have increasingly become a highly productive machine. To that end, one of the best books I read for preparing for this venture was Getting Things Done by David Allen. You will not be disappointed if you make the time to read this book. It will help you be more productive with your days, and organize your life to stay on top of all the details.
Another trait that I knew was deep inside me, but never really exposed is an ability to work long hours with little sleep. Normally, I am a high energy guy, so when it comes to sleep I like to get 7 hours of bed time a night. Continuing to exercise and stay fit means that sleep is important. However, for the past couple months, this has been shaved down to about 5.5 – 6 hours per night, with one night a week at 12. I find I am capable of this, definitely a little more grumpy, unhappy, etc, but that should be expected. Find your ability to work long and hard, and you will be in a good position to succeed.
One last trait, one that might just possibly be the most important trait is the ability to not get overwhelmed by the gravity of this situation. Really, this is one of the most stressful and intense situations an average person could go through, and with the help of friends and family, I have managed to stay positive and on track. If you have a tough time dealing with stress and multi-tasking, you will need to either take course, read or learn to deal with this possibility.
Another huge help is always having a notebook that contains a to do list. Make sure you cross things out when they are complete, so you can get the satisfaction of accomplishing something. To do lists are key as are notebooks with all your notes from meetings and discussions. I can’t tell you how many times I have referenced the book to find something I have been looking for.
Until next post, keep on keeping on!