The Two Minute Drill


Marc Lockard

Have you ever noticed, while watching professional football, how exciting the last two minutes of each half are?  Two mediocre teams can play an entirely boring game right up until the officials notify the teams that there are only two more minutes of playing time left.  All of a sudden, when the network comes back from commercials, the tempo of the game magically picks up.  Players who looked lethargic when the network broke for commercial are all of a sudden making great plays and putting forth extra effort!  The quarterback makes use of every available second.  Multiple plays are called; everyone moves with new quickness; the clock is worked judiciously.  The enthusiasm of the teams, the crowd, and even the television audience is raised to a new high.   As a viewer I find myself asking, “ Why isn't the whole game played this way?”

Then you realize that the really good teams do play the entire game with the same degree of intensity and excitement for the entire game that the mediocre teams do only in the last two minutes before each half.  The teams that play with intensity and excitement the entire game are the consistent winners.  Well, the same is true in your life and your career!

Those individuals who put enthusiasm and excitement into everything they do somehow always are the same individuals who are given the best promotions, who rocket through the corporate ranks, or who own and operate their own successful business.  These same individuals also seem to be the ones who have the best families, enjoy all the better things in life, and always seem to have what appears to be a lot of free time.  Their success is simply not an accident!  Their success is a direct result of the effort they put forth.  They operate as if they are always in the last two minutes of the game where every second counts.  They approach all aspects of their lives with enthusiasm and excitement and work consistently to seek out additional opportunities and challenges. 

So why don't we all participate in the two minute drill?  We all have the capability to do so; we just don't always focus on the tasks at hand.  Think about the last two days in the office before you left on your last vacation.  You probably attacked every opportunity presented to you with consistent, enthusiastic effort, and you persistently pursued each opportunity as if every second counted.  You knew that those tasks, not completed before you left, would be there to stare you in the face when you returned.  Your pace quickened; you didn't waste any time or energy.  You were committed to clearing out the back-log!  Chances are you accomplished more in those last two days before you left than you had in the last few weeks.  The reason you were able to accomplish so much is that you now HAD to complete those tasks, and you knew you simply couldn't put off any task.  You became focused! 

So why don't we approach all of our opportunities and challenges with this same degree of effort and enthusiasm? Honestly the reason is that for most of us, without an absolute time limit, the last two minutes of the game, we all tend to misuse our time and resources.  After all, if we don't get that task done today, we can always complete it tomorrow.  But can we?  There always seems to be some new opportunity or some unexpected diversion: you just had to see that new YouTube video everyone is talking about or check out the latest sports scores, or check your Facebook or Twitter account or knock off a few “Angry Birds.”  

But what if you practiced the two minute drill everyday?  What if you played the game of life with enthusiasm and excitement?  What if you methodically and persistently attacked each opportunity that presented itself, when it presented itself? 

One way to find out--try it!  My bet is that you will feel better, discover a new level of confidence in yourself, and begin to feel refreshed and relaxed.

Give it a shot!


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