When you work within the professions and have to record every six minutes, thinking space can be a bit of a luxury. However, time to think isn’t a luxury you can’t afford, it is an absolute necessity to be able to perform and make the right decisions. Here are our 5 tips to get your thinking time back:
1. Don’t always go in ‘all guns blazing’
Given the nature of working with clients it can be easy to fall into the trap that you have to have an answer right now. Most clients will fully understand if you need to call them back with the right answer rather than give them poor advice or the wrong advice. If you can get into the mindset where you gather together most of the facts before feeling that you have to take action, then you will get the all important thinking time back.
2. Remember that most things are rarely that time critical
Unless you are in the midst of a very time critical transaction, there is always time to call a time out and catch your breath. As the saying goes, less haste more speed. It is better to take some time out to think rather than take the wrong decision.
3. Call your coach and/or mentor
When everything is crashing down all around you, it can be very helpful to speak with a voice of reason. Particularly one who has no emotional connection to the problem you are dealing with at the moment. Therefore, take some time out to get some advice and/or reflection time by talking things through with your coach and/or mentor.
4. Don’t book your diary solid from breakfast through to late in the evening
When I used to have a ‘proper’ job I used to welcome my train ride into and out of London. Despite First Capital Connect’s regular attempts to sabotage my journey, I used my travelling time to set up my day and then close down my day. This meant I was always able to hit the ground running when I walked through the office door. Given the ‘lets do lunch’ nature of the professions, it can be very easy to find yourself bouncing from one meeting to another. Try to avoid getting into a pattern where every last minute of your day is taken up with meetings of one form or another. Give yourself time between meetings to catch your breath and prepare for your next meeting or priority.
5. Take your holidays and prioritise your well-being
This specific tip may not help you in the middle of a crisis. However, the better your all-round well-being, the easier it is to take the right decision quickly. How do you make time to think at work? What are your tried and tested tips?