Recently, my business partner, Jeff, took on coaching a young girl’s soccer team. He has done a lot of coaching over the years and has won his fair share of titles, but this time it is different. This time he is faced with the challenge of coaching 12-year-old girls. This past weekend, the girls played a couple of games against a decent team and, unfortunately, they didn’t fare so well. After the game, Jeff mentioned they just didn’t seem to have the drive to go after the ball. He said at times it was almost like they were confused and he couldn’t immediately put his finger on what was going on. The girls had played well in the past, although this time they seemed to be “thinking” about playing, rather than trusting what they had learned to do so well, as part of their training.
Knowing too much can be paralyzing and, in fact, with all the information available on the internet, it is becoming easier and easier for people to get stuck. People are overloaded with more information than they know what to do with and because of it, they are either delaying making decisions, making poor decisions or, in some cases, making no decisions.
Being in business is about being able to make clear and decisive decisions that move you towards your goals. If you find yourself in the world of information overload, here are a couple of things you can do:
- Avoid Rabbit Trails – Before you start, be clear on the topic you are researching. Write it down on a piece of paper and for this information gathering session, force yourself to stay on that single topic. If you find something else interesting, write it down to look at later. If that other thing is important, you will come back to it. If it isn’t, then it was just a fleeting thought and you won’t have wasted any time on it.
- Unplug – Schedule time each day (it doesn’t have to be more than 15 minutes), when you unplug from your phone and computer and use that time to get clear on what you need to do and accomplish. Write down a list of those things and make the important things a priority. As soon as you are done, take immediate action to get them done.
- Shorten Your Questions – Sometimes we produce our own rabbit trails for others, by telling them too much detail behind the question we are asking. If you want information, ask the question in a clear and concise way, to improve the odds of getting a clear and concise answer.
As Jeff was talking through the challenge with his team, he realized what he was seeing was confusion in his girls. Before the next game, he got clear on what the girls needed to do and made sure they only needed to remember to do one thing. It is funny how when you clear up the confusion, things suddenly get easier. The girls went out and performed absolutely amazing – go team!
Cathy Snelgrove is a Senior Partner in DiscoverYou, a company focused in the area of high performance culture and leadership development. Cathy is a guest blogger and speaker on the topics of leadership, engagement and business and writes her own weekly blog for DiscoverYou. She is the co-author of two books; “It Is What It Is, Or Is It…All About Business” and the award winning book, “You Couldn’t Have Told Me This Before I Started My Business?”. Contact her at Cathy@DiscoverYou.me.