Leadership+Resilience

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Big decision to make? Not after 8 o’clock

Stop making big decisions after 8.

Slowly, over time, I have adopted a rule. More like a suggestion or a guideline. I try not to make life decisions after about 8 pm.

What do I want for desert? No problem. Should I continue writing my next book or burn it in the trash barrel because I had a frustrating writing day? If it’s after 8 and I am feeling depleted, it’s not a good time to make that call.

9 pm is not a good time to write up a resignation letter.

Midnight is not a good time to have the heavy discussion with your partner.

2 am is not a good time to decide that school is no longer working for you.

The reason is because your energy reserves are low. And making great big decisions require your best energy, not left over energy.

The kicker to all of this is that right now our energy reserves are taking an additional hit as we struggle to create our new normal. Our daily energy is set ablaze as we piece together life in real time. Maybe I should back up my cutoff time to 5 o’clock.

Or, I should just defer it. Turn on The Bachelor. Take it easy.

Give yourself permission to just think about it in the morning. Next week is fine too if it can wait.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on April 15, 2020

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