This week I did a workshop with a team. My icebreaker question for that day was, “If you could write a book as an expert, what would the title be?” As I got thinking about my own answer, and decided mine would be “Life is a Game of Tetris”.
I have always loved the game of Tetris and I think of it every time I load our dishwasher, trying to fit the shapes of the glasses, plates and bowls in order to get maximum input. Because there is a satisfying art to loading a dishwasher, right?
The Tetris analogy works very well for me when I think of all of the personal and professional activities I do. Recently a friend introduced me to someone and struggled to tell that person exactly what I did for a living. From consulting to coaching to officiating weddings and working in the funeral industry, it may seem like I am all over the place. Fortunately, I know that all of these unique roles come together quite well and utilize my strengths in helping people in significant life moments.
I also believe I apply Tetris mastery to our family’s calendar. I’ve often joked that having 4 children offers the chance for a crash course in logistics and scheduling. On a weekly basis, I have to figure out who is going to do pick-ups from volleyball, drop-offs to hockey and keeping on top of homework while managing my own client work. (Thank goodness for the help of grandparents and friends to fill in the gaps!)
While our calendar is a lot like Tetris, there is a danger in trying to fit all of the pieces in. Sometimes you are so busy trying to fit that “z” piece when what you really need is a “square”. Because the square doesn’t fit in the space you have created, you don’t want to risk a bunch of lines piling up until game over. Efficiency does not always mean effective. We can be so busy fitting all of the activities in that we miss what is really important. This could be downtime and rest or quality time spent with family over a real meal vs. a quick dash through drive-through in a car.
On a regular basis, we all have to look up from our Tetris screen. If you just look at fitting it all in you may miss the bigger picture of what the game is about.