Shoulda Woulda Coulda: The choice is yours

Make your own choices

Last Friday, I missed my posting schedule for the first time. (Hands up if you noticed!) I’ve been so disciplined in posting every Tuesday and Friday for the past months that it’s been a non-negotiable appointment in the diary, but this time I just didn’t have time to come up with an idea and to write something.

When I say “I just didn’t have time”, of course, what I actually mean is: I didn’t make time. Because of course I have time. It’s a question of choosing to use that time for the blog, in this case, instead of doing something else.

Making choices is something we do every moment of every day.

Often, the choice is between immediate and delayed gratification:

Staying up late or going to bed early so that you wake up refreshed and energised for whatever the next day has in store.

Enjoying a lie-in or getting up early to go to work and earn an income.

Buying that Burberry coat or putting money aside for your pension. (Although, for the record, I think a timeless trench coat is an excellent investment in the future. *Ahem*)

Watching another episode of Game of Thrones or doing an Insanity workout.

Eating that tub of chocolate fudge brownie ice cream or having a cup of tea instead to get you that one step closer to the bikini body you’re after.

Working late or putting your children to bed.

We fill our heads with “shoulds” that weigh heavily on our minds but never actually compel ourselves to act. So we feel guilty and it still doesn’t get done. Lose-lose.

To constantly question those choices can be exhausting, but unless we make them with a degree of intentionality we’re liable to start viewing ourselves as victims and to become increasingly frustrated with either work or family or both.

Turn the “should” into a “want” and go ahead and do it! Alternatively, admit that you don’t want to do it and forget all about it.

The topic of choices was also high on the agenda of a work project last week. Business strategy is all about making choices: entering this market or that market, targeting this consumer segment or that consumer segment, investing here or there…

Whether you’re a huge multinational or a tiny start-up, your resources are limited – in terms of people, time, and money – and you simply cannot do everything. Sometimes, any choice is better than no choice at all.

When it comes to work itself, the most obvious choice is also not always the right one. It may seem virtuous to skip lunch because you don’t have time, down big cups of coffee and munch on biscuits to keep your blood sugar high throughout your long meeting, stay late in the office because this just can’t wait until the morning…

But it’s well documented that managing your energy – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – will make you more effective, and more satisfied, with all different areas of both work and play.

Getting some fresh air can do wonders for clearing your mind.

“Losing” an hour to exercise can, in fact, save you time by making you more focused and alert.

Going on vacation may seem impossible with your long to-do list but taking time out will ensure that you stay fresh and passionate about what you do.

Pursuing a hobby will feed your creativity and may even bring you fresh inspiration for an issue at work.

Spending time with friends and family is necessary in order to maintain and build your relationships, not to mention essential to overall life satisfaction.

So what choices will you make today? Cake or carrots? Coke or coconut water? Yoga or shopping? Smiling or frowning?

The choice is yours.


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