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The decisive minute

We have talked a lot about time management, about the use we make of time and how to squeeze the time in order to be more productive. However, for long time we receive, for long time we save and for a lot of tasks we process, we will always fill our time with something new, similarly to a leveler.

Reflecting on efficient time management, we contemplate multiple concepts, such as the use of dead times, the execution of the major number of tasks in a given time, the execution of concurrent tasks by a team, the reduction of the impact of external dependencies, the achieving milestones, etc. All these concepts are focused on the mechanical operation of time management.

But now let us separate from the metrics, the statistics and the methodology. Forget for a moment the “how”, because the technique works well and is very efficient. Let be out from purely professional context. Forget the projects, the Gantt diagrams, the monitoring reports, the costs and the incidences.

Let’s go up a level. Let us place ourselves as the bird view. Let’s change the “how” for a “what,” “why” or “for what”, in order to understand the purpose of our actions and be clear about the goal. We will check that the most of the time we act by inertia or impulse, running around like a headless chicken. We did not even take a minute to really understand what we do and why we do it.

One minute is a tiny fraction of relative time, which, depending on circumstances, may be ephemeral or it may be crucial. What is one minute compared to the other hours we dedicated to work, to our leisure or to other pursuits?

It seems insignificant, but one minute is the best investment we can make in any situation in life. One minute can mean the difference between success and failure, between a good decision and a disastrous decision, between solving a problem and commit an irrevocable error. That transcendental minute is the decisive minute: the minimum time that should precede any action.

The coach encourages players before leaving the field. What he says in the last minute it will be what the players wear on their minds in order to channel their energies and win the game.

In any conflict, use at least a minute to visualize a positive outcome, analyze the situation and evaluate the options. This helps you to make right decisions and create opportunities for its resolution.

In any action, a preliminary approach of a minute, allows us know what to do and why. The answer to these questions, in addition to promoting a “how to” more complete and efficient, also provides motivation because we know in what coordinates on the map we are and where we go.

Many times, that minute of reflection, of approach or analysis, allows us to view and connect things that we did not realized because we was focused exclusively on how to execute them. Thus, it is possible to reduce the time because we can identify and automate repetitive tasks. It is also possible to improve the quality if we create relations between things that are separate and may have common factors. It is also possible to identify patterns of behavior that could cause a problem or that can be improved.

Before you start anything, take a minute to plan it. That minute is the key to achieve the outcome. The decisive minute is always first one.

What do you think of this decisive minute? Do you want to share your own experience with that decisive minute?

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