There is no doubt that technology has made us more efficient and connected. And with this comes noise and interruption in our daily lives. There are fewer barriers to entry for entrepreneurs, resulting in more businesses competing for attention and ad companies finding more ways to interrupt us. Not only does this intensify the pressure of business owners to be unique and smart all the time, but it is often more stressful and time consuming to sift through options before making purchases and financial decisions.
Our world is getting faster, and expectations are getting higher. People expect you to answer emails within hours. Customers expect service immediately, in the way they want it, and at a price they find reasonable. And the expectations we put on ourselves in regards to family are changing. We want to give our children more, be more involved in community, and travel with loved ones more often and to more exotic places. We want to have it all.
To adjust to this, we make decisions much faster. We answer emails as quickly as possible to get them out of our inbox and to keep people happy with us. Entrepreneurs iterate as they go and have less time for planning and critical thinking. We post things online as they happen- often not considering who may be reading what we post or thinking about how people could interpret what we say. And when a personal problem comes up, we react and try to get through it as quickly as possible.
It is easy to see why we make such quick decisions. But should we? What's wrong with saying, "I want to think about this. I will get back to you very soon?"
While it is important to be communicative, open, and responsive, it is as important to be thoughtful and to take enough time to fully consider the dynamics of a situation.
Take more time to think about a simple email before pushing send. Consider how others might read your next 140-character tweet. Think about how you spent your time today. Are you prioritizing your goals, thinking through outcomes, and considering your options?
You may be surprised what you find when you take an extra minute to think about a simple interaction. n practicing this, I have found that it has increased my understanding of other people, made me more aware of my options, and helped me listen to my gut reaction.
Let me know your thoughts.