time challenges

How to Stop Being Indecisive: The Magic Art of Making More Time

Day 1: Indecision

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How decisive are you?

Answer that question right now in your mind.

Most of the time, when it comes to making a decision I hear people say:

  • I don't know what I want.

  • I'm not sure what to do.

  • It's hard for me to choose. It doesn't really matter to me.

  • I'll just wait and see what happens.

  • What's meant to be will be.

  • If it's God's will...

  • I don't know what I like.

I used to say some of these things. I used to see myself as a chameleon. I could adapt to whatever the other person decided, and for the most part be happy.

I was "easy" and "flexible". I was also afraid.

Afraid of seeming weird. Afraid of rocking the boat. 

I was "accommodating" and "down for anything". I was also undervaluing myself, my opinion.

It sounds so silly to me now. Why didn't I take a little time to figure out what it was that I actually wanted? What it was that I actually liked? What my preferences were? Who I was?

The past year or so I've practiced making strong decisions.

What do I mean by that? I made a list of things that I liked. Things I wanted to do. Restaurants to try.

When someone asked my opinion I gave it. Honestly. 

I decided to not spend a lot of time making a decision, but rather to decide and then stick to it. Have my own back. Not waiver. I decided on purpose to like my reason.

If I want to take a course I set a time to consider it, decide and then don't look back.

The more I've done this, the easier it's become. It showed up in a funny way this past weekend.

My husband and I were cleaning out the garage. We are downsizing and preparing our house to list. As we were going through piles of stuff collected over the years, I found myself thinking:

  1. Do I love this? Yes, it'd go to the keep pile. No, I'd go to question #2.

  2. Can someone use this? Yes, it'd go to the American Cancer Society pile. No, I'd go to question #3.

  3. Is this broken or trash? I'd pitch it. 

This process was fast. I was sorting and piling in less than a minute or so for each item.

Every now and then my husband, who typically has very strong opinions, would ask me "Should we keep this?" and it would be like a bottle of cleaner that was 5 years old, or some old electronic equipment (cd player anyone?)

I found myself getting irritated. I had worked so hard to get efficient at making decisions and here he was asking me about things that really could have all been pitched in the trash. 

I finally said to him in a lighthearted voice "Look, you have my permission to make a strong decision and just do it. We don't need to have a team effort for this stuff." 

He got the hint and we moved on.

For the first time I noticed what making strong decisions has done for me. It's given me some time back. The less time I spend in indecision, the more time I have to spend on things and people that are important to me.

In fact, making strong decisions has morphed into a 4 day work week for me. I've tightened up my decisions M-Th, so that I can take Fridays off. 

How fun is that?!

Being indecisive ultimately costs us time.

If you’re ready to take back control of your time and live a life by design, use the button below to book a free 45 minute consultation. You’ve got nothing to lose and so much to gain.

Time Challenges and ADHD Tendencies

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Ask anyone who struggles with ADHD tendencies, and they are sure to tell you that the concept of time can be challenging.

In fact, not just the concept of time but being on time, scheduling time, prioritizing things, knowing the length of time something will take, how long it will take to get somewhere, how long it will actually take to get out the door, how much can be done in a certain amount of time, how to spend time that is suddenly "extra", the list goes on.

A big part of the reason for that struggle is because of what's known as our Executive Function (EF). Executive Function is a group of mental processes that help us to get things done. They help us to organize, plan and connect the dots between our past and experiences and our present. Estimating time, awareness of the passing of time and prioritizing all fall under the management of our (EF).

If we look more closely at the awareness of time, for the "neuro-typical" aka "non-adhd" brain, time moves along a line, like a timeline. There are hours, minutes, days, weeks, months and years that are considered. For the "ADHD tendency" brain, time tends to move in a circle. There are really only two measurements of time, now and not now. Because of this, people with ADHD tendencies can have a difficult time grasping the concept of time and tend to have trouble judging how quickly it's passing. In the "not now" period, nothing is urgent. There is plenty of time. When suddenly something moves into the "now" period, everything becomes an emergency and panic mode can set in. Any of this sound familiar?

Many of my clients are super hard workers that are committed to getting things done. Where things can get messy is in determining how long it will take to get it done. A new project will come their way that they are very excited about. They often have the best of intentions and may think faster is better, many of them can be very detail oriented and are aware of their tendency to get trapped in the weeds. Because of this they may err against that tendency and commit to completing something sooner than is possible. They often commit without having any real sense of how long it should take. That "sense" of time can just be off. 

One simple strategy to help with this is to guesstimate how long something will take-either how long it will take to complete it, or how long it will take to get somewhere etc. Once you come up with a length of time, DOUBLE IT! That's right, times two. This simple step alone will start to shift you into the time-awareness zone and out of the twilight zone! Once you do that, pay attention on the back end of things and ask yourself: 

How was my timing?

Did I allow too much time? Not enough time?

Would I do it the same next time?

While we're talking about time, there's no time like the present! Why don't you take a quick second and book a 30 minute mini-session with me? If you could wake up tomorrow and feel differently or do something differently, what would it be?

There's no commitment, and I know that coaching can help. I'd love to hear what you're struggling with and offer some help. Things can get better starting right now.