I’ve said this so many times this week now that I’ve decided it’s something that needs to be said out loud, instead of in dribs and drabs to lots of people.
Here’s how the typical conversation has been going…”I’m rushed off my feet“, “I don’t seem to have the time to do anything“, “There’s so much going on“.
To each one of these people I just asked the simple question “When did you last read a storybook, a novel, something that you could get your teeth into that had nothing to do with business?” Well, the responses from all of them where that ‘they hadn’t read anything like that in yonks’. Even though many had been prolific readers as children and young adults, now business had seemed to take over, and any reading was about personal or business development.
Now, as a personal and business coach, you might expect me to be encouraging everyone to make the best use of their time with audios and videos, so every spare moment in the car or office is spent developing yourself and gathering more knowledge.
In fact, I used to be like this myself. But no more. The problem with ‘doing’ personal development is that it can be taken too far and you can start to get the belief that you’re still not good enough, more work is needed until you are 100% ready to take action.
And that’s not true. You, me and everyone else already have all we need to take action. Often, what is missing is clarity, calmness and the space to make decisions, and that’s where reading stories come into it.
The human brain is wired to want to finish off a story, and so when we start to get embroiled in a tale, we are diverted away from the hubbub of business life.
The little grey cells switch off for a while, and clarity can break through.
So how about joining the library, pop along to the supermarket to get a novel, download something from Amazon. Perhaps there’s a book you always used to dip in and out of which is now just gathering dust on a shelf?
And a final word. It’s great having our books on apps, like Kindle, on our phones, but if you don’t turn off notifications, or are a habitual email and Facebook checker, the immersive effect isn’t going to kick in.
Use a spare phone or even better get a real paper book!
And is there anything better than dipping in and out of books in a library or bookshop?
Today I’m up at the Inspired Women Event in London and one of the speakers is talking about decisions; how important they are for our business and how we often delay making them, even without realising we’re doing it.
Making speedy decisions will have a massive impact on your results.
Think about a successful person you know about but don’t know well. So Richard Branson would be mine. Now, imagine how they make decisions. Generally, they are going to be making decisions FAST! And here’s the thing, sometimes it doesn’t matter if you make the WRONG decision – as long as you make A decision, there will be action, action brings results and results mean feedback. If you have made the wrong decision then at least you know and can take more action to put it right. No decision means no action, no results, no feedback. Nothing, Nada, Nil Zilch!
Why We Delay Making Decisions
Are you putting off making a decision because when it’s done you will have to start doing the trickier stuff in your business like selling and delivering products and services?
Let’s consider how we are making a decision now.
Are you making decisions made based on fear? Are you making decisions based on loads and loads of analysis? Are you making decisions based on your gut instinct or your intuition? Which do you think is the most powerful?
The trouble is that when we don’t trust ourselves, how we are running our business, our lives, or our relationship, then it can become tricky to trust our instincts.
Trusting yourself and your instincts is a much bigger issue and will take a while to drill down into so what can you do if you need to start making decisions right now if you’re going to move forward? I suggest the following…
Decision Making Template
- Put a time limit on making your decision and stick to it.
- Ask yourself (and write down the answers in a table) the following questions…
What will happen if I do?
What will happen if I don’t?
Won’t won’t Happen if I do?
What won’t happen if I Don’t
You should now have a little grid of answers, a structure, to work from. It’s almost like a mini risk assessment. If you need to, then bring in a second or third party, but remember you have your deadline and stick to it.