Do You Take Too Long Making Little Decisions?

The Brown One or The Tan One?

I was inspired to write this blog post after 3 back to back incidents today that were all very similar and all very time consuming. I went on errands today that could have taken maybe 4 hours, and instead, took 11 hours, nearly 3 times longer than they could have taken.

Stop 1: Target

First I went to Target to look for a coffee percolator. It could have taken maybe half an hour. I didn’t actually time it, but I stayed in the coffee pot aisle probably a whole hour, trying to decide between a few different models, carefully reading every feature and imagining my life for the next couple of years, and which coffee pot would best fit into that vision.

Stop 2: Slumberland

Then on to Slumberland. I wanted to change the furniture in my children’s bedroom because it wasn’t serving us anymore in the way that we needed it to serve us moving forward. I wanted to get new bunk beds. Not only did I scrutinize each option they had there, I hemmed and hawed over every little detail and what kind of set up I envisioned we would be needing for at least the next 3 years. Then I had to call my kids, text them pictures of the beds, evaluate which color, and on and on. Then I got sidetracked with sofa’s, sofa beds, and futons. “Oh, I could use one of those, too!”, I couldn’t stop myself from from thinking. “As long as I’m in the store now, why make another trip later?”, so I spent another enormous time looking at sofa’s. All in all, I was in the store over 4 hours, instead of the 1 hour it could have taken. Part of the reason I took so long was because I could. No one was with me pestering me to hurry, I had the afternoon open, and allowed myself the luxery of spending longer than I should really be spending.

Stop 3: Walmart

Then, I picked up my college-bound daughter and we went to Walmart to go college shopping for items she’d need for school and for her dorm room. We had a list. It could have taken an hour, but it took over 2 hours. There were multiple times where I waited 15 minutes for her to decide on something like what color border her new mirror should have, or which face wash she should buy. Seriously, I think that decision took her 30 minutes. I couldn’t really complain to her, though, since I had recently taken so long at Slumberland (though no one was waiting for me), and I knew that it could be hard to make decisions on little nuances.

What’s Your Stop?

Some of my clients make their decisions fast, like what to name a page, what color scheme to use, and what copy to include on a page. Other clients take at least 3 times longer, and really sweat over every little nuance, changing their minds many times. The clients who make the decisions fast are often the ones who need to, the ones who have close deadines that are unchangable. They also get a whole lot more done and start making their money faster.

The other clients who have more time, take more time, because they can. They set their own deadline, and they can change it if they want to. I’ve completed gifts pages for some clients in 2 days, typically closer to 5 weeks, and sometimes as long as 3 months, because they have trouble deciding on what their free gift is or who their client is. We know we can make decisions fast when we have to, if we need something in a few days. Why can’t we use this same skill to make quick decisions even if we don’t have to, if there wasn’t a pressing deadline. Think of all of the time we’d save. Think of how much faster we could get that gift page up, or put together that telesummit, or teach that teleseminar. Think of how much faster we could earn that income.

How about if we imagine our stops to be this:

Stop 1: A Gifts Page

Stop 2: An Ezine

Stop 3: A Telesummit

How long will you allow your stops to be? 2 Weeks? (They can be set up in this time.)
2 months?
(more typical.) 2 years? (I’ve seen this happen too many times.) The more successful people don’t necessarily have the fanciest looking pages, but they have completed them, and have moved on to the next stop.

If you’ve been inspired by this post, please share it and tweet it with the buttons below, and please leave your comments (you’ll receive backlinks to your blog). If you’d like to speed up the stop time on the virtual errands for your business, contact me here.

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