Alan Dee: I’ve made a decision, now what was it?
Decisions, decisions – what to witter on about this week? This is no time to dither, I’ve got lots of other stuff to do.
So after just a brief moment pondering whether it would be appropriate to chew over a new survey, the game’s afoot.
The survey in question suggests that we all fritter away an enormous amount of time weighing up the pros and cons of any particular course of action, from whether to have an extra slice of toast in the morning to whether we’ll regret that extra glass of wine and another half an hour in front of the telly when morning comes.
The answers to those questions are invariably no and yes, but we still faff about leaning this way or that while we make up our minds.
Me, I’ve always believed in action this day, to borrow a phrase from a certain cigar-chomping statesman who also knew a bit about fighting on beaches and landing grounds.
So I find it hard to credit the key finding of the clipboard crew – you can expect to spend an hour and 17 minutes every day trying to decide what to do.
That adds up to more than one working day a week, you know.
Just think how much more productive we could all be if we could make better use of that time.
Or to look at it another way, and probably the preferred perspective of the sort of hatchet-faced executive who has no problem coming to a conclusion as long as it doesn’t mean that they’ll be out on their ears themselves, look how many jobs we could cut if the ones left behind could just a bit sharper when it came to making their minds up.
But, having given it quick consideration, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s all a load of cobblers. What it comes down to is this – we may well not use our time as effectively as we might when it comes to sorting out the big stuff, but that’s only because there are so many little decisions to be made.
We like little decisions, because usually they have no implications, no cloud of potential comeback.
That’s where that extra slice of toast comes in, and lots of other similar decisions – shall I check my email, shall I go on Facebook, shall I make a brew, shall I find something else to do that will mean I don’t have to make that decision I’m avoiding?
So we’re not daydreaming, we’re just trying to keep on top of all the multitasking that’s expected of us these days.
If we sometimes have to hold fire for a moment and catch our breath, that doesn’t mean we’re wasting time, we’re just trying to work out which decision needs to be made next.
So decision made. Shall I take this survey seriously? No.
Now, what did I come in here for in the first place?