In reality, most golfers spend more time looking for golf balls than they do executing shots. Think about that for a second… we spend more time searching than we do executing. 

There are times, when it’s worth it, to spend time looking for a golf ball, but all golfers have experienced other golfers who spend too much time looking for their golf ball; especially if it’s in the water or out of bounds. In fact, some golfers act as if they never planned on losing a golf ball, to begin with. This is where the problem starts. Golfers must plan on losing a certain amount of golf balls, and the quantity of golf balls you will lose depends entirely on your playing ability. 

So Stick and Hack members let’s unite and agree on something here. First, let’s plan on losing dozens of golf balls each year. Second, for balls lost in the water, or out of bounds, let’s agree that we will spend no more than 30 seconds looking for them. And, lastly, if you’re a high handicapper, stop buying $4 golf balls if you feel compelled to hire a search party every time you can’t find your $4 golf ball. 

What does this have to do with business or your work? Sometimes we spend too much time looking for golf balls at work versus understanding which balls are worth looking for and thinking about how to execute our next move. Here are some effective strategies related to looking for golf balls at work:

Expect Miscues

Things never go exactly as planned at work. If they do, you aren’t taking risks, or you aren’t challenging yourself to grow and improve. In the same way golfers should plan to lose golf balls, you must plan to have miscues in your work. Knowing that things won’t go perfectly for you will allow you to regroup and move on while your coworker, who never plans on making mistakes, sits in a holding pattern wondering what to do next. 

If you don’t anticipate mistakes and miscues in your work, you’ll spend too much time searching for your next move. You’ll lose momentum and, in all likelihood, profitability. 

Pro V1 vs. Shag Ball

The problem with one dozen Pro V1 golf balls is that each ball has the same $4 value. The $4 ball is what compels a golfer, that loses five Pro V1s each round, to want to spend 20 minutes looking for those lost balls. However, have you ever seen the same golfer reach into their bag to grab a worthless shag ball for the next shot? We all have. 

We can apply the same Pro V1 versus shag ball strategy at work. It’s simple. In this example, the golf balls represent your tasks and responsibilities. The first step is to take an inventory of your golf balls at work. The second step is to evaluate which of your responsibilities and job functions are most important (Pro V1s) and which of them are the least important (shag balls). Once your inventory is complete, make sure you spend the majority of your time chasing down your Pro V1s. But remember, if everything at work becomes a Pro V1, you’ll never get anything done and your team members will suffer through the fog

How you approach looking for golf balls at work will determine how effective you are when things don’t go according to plan. Just remember that there will be some miscues and make sure you spend the majority of your time on what’s most important.