You might know how I love to jam on the topic of time. All day long, I could talk about organizing your calendar and prioritizing your to-do list and the best times to write.
Because the one finite element of everyone’s life is TIME.
We all get the same 24 hours in each and every sweet day.
It’s the constant with all the other pieces being the variables.
And you know what’s the largest variable in the whole dang equation – YOU.
You choose exactly where your time is going.
One of the most brilliant ways I’ve found to get out of my own way is to get good at making quick decisions.
It can look like this:
Instead of lingering over the decision between two images to use in a social media graphic, just pick one and go with it.
Or wondering far too long if you should keep that sweater you purchased online? If you don’t love it, return it.
Rather then going back and forth about what to wear at the client event, choose your go-to black dress. It’s always in fashion.
It’s truly incredible how NOT marinating in the second guessing and indecisiveness can clear up so much room in the day.
It’s also means touching things only once.
And when it comes to invitations and requests, if it isn’t a Heck Yeah, it’s a No.
So know it, hear it, feel it and respond accordingly the first time around.
Let me share a recent example of when I didn’t take my own guidance.
You see, I was invited to an event.
While doing my usual morning inbox processing, I noticed the invitation email.
Immediately I knew I didn’t want to go. It felt totally “shackles on”, as Martha Beck says.
But… I waffled.
Should I go? Should I not go? What should I do? And what will people say if I don’t attend?
I sent the email out of my inbox via Boomerang. But the invite wasn’t out of my mind.
I continued to hem and haw over attending.
For almost a week, I used precious time and brainspace trying to make a darn decision.
In the end, I sent a polite, simple email declining the invitation.
The thing is, I definitely could have cajoled my way into saying yes, persuading myself that it’s the “nice thing” to do. It really could have gone either way.
I ultimately followed my gut but, again, so much darn time and energy went to what I knew in a matter of seconds.
By getting good at making quick decisions, you train yourself to save time. And isn’t that what we’re after, more hours in our day to do with what we please.
That’s the exact idea of only touching things once – you’re not letting decisions linger in your inbox and holding that mental bandwidth, then wasting another couple minutes when you open the message the next day and the next and the next. Until finally, the pain of not making the decision feels worse than declaring what happens next.
So practice getting great at making snappy decisions. And then move one. Consider the door closed and allow your mind and day to open up to what’s near on the horizon or right around the corner.
And if you still aren’t convinced, here’s a tidbit from a client. It happened over 3 years ago and has stuck with me ever since.
I was managing this client’s business when she asked if I could help her with some task. I don’t even remember what it was specifically, just that it was out of scope for the work I was contracted to do and I didn’t have the bandwidth to take on the new project.
So I replied, “No, I’m sorry, I can’t help you with that. I’m happy to find someone that can or pass over a few recommendations.”
And then I waited for what I was certain was going to be a less-than-thrilled response.
But no, she emailed back with, “Wow, thank you. I’d rather have a firm No, than a squishy Yes.”
Unknowingly, I had also stepped into my leadership energy and she didn’t fire me. In fact, she respected me more as a person, business owner and member of her team.
Not only does the principle of making quick decisions, expand your time and brain space, it also helps you to root into your leadership energy.
Allowing decisions and choices to dilly-dally in your life?
Catch yourself when you do and then post below and share what you noticed and what you’re going to change to start practicing making lightening-speed decisions.
Photo by Letizia Bordoni on Unsplash