Today’s topic is choice. I was talking to my friend Tim Olsen last night, he’s a new friend of mine. We were chatting on Facebook Messenger, and the topic of choice came up. We were actually talking about spontaneity and how spontaneity can serve you at the right time. It was related to my blog post from the other day about my morning routine and how I like the spontaneous side of life as well. While we’re talking about this, I said, “Spontaneity is a great thing at the right time, and that gets to choice.” Choosing consciously when to be spontaneous and when not to be spontaneous. Knowing when it serves you, and knowing when it doesn’t serve you.
You can take that into all other areas of our life, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Snapchat, email, and it could go on, and on, and on. I know that this is going to be a little controversial, and I know a lot of people will argue with me on this, but at the end of the day, if you take some steps to take control of your choice for all of these apps that you have, games, email, whatever, even your job, you’ll be a lot more productive. You’ll progress faster and further on a day-to-day, week-to-week basis. Trust me on this. I know because I’ve done it, and what I’ve done, every app that I’ve got that has a notification on my phone, Twitter, Facebook, and on, and on, and on, including email. I have found that those notifications are like catnip to a cat. It draws me in, it takes my focus away from whatever I’m doing. Same thing with the ringer on my phone, even the vibrate on my phone. So, I turn off all the notifications. I also silence the ringer on my phone quite often.
When I want to focus on something. When I’m making a conscious choice to read a book, to work on a blog post or a blog topic, or to work on MY book, I want to be totally in the game. I don’t want to have those distractions, so I turn off everything that I can. The beauty is, I can then make a conscious choice to go and look at Facebook. I’ll take it even a step further. Whether I’m working on my businesses or I’m working in my day job today, I read my email in the morning, I close it down. I may read it again when I come back from lunch, close it down, and then I open it again towards the end of the day to finish out my day.
I love Brendon Burchard’s take on it, email is somebody else’s ability to enforce their agenda on you. You’re giving up all of your control by living by email and every email message that comes in to you every day. Email was never created to be an immediate response mechanism. That’s what phones are for. I know that’s controversial because it’s gotten to the point where everybody uses email for immediate response. Texting, great, unless you’re getting a million text messages a day. Phone, great, but you need to get the other distractions out of your way. Use the phone and texting for immediacy. The rest of the stuff can wait. Trust me. You don’t have to respond in the moment every single time. Take your time, make your choices, and you’ll go so much further in the world.
To quote my all time favorite band in this world, a band out of Canada by the name of Rush. They are huge. They’ve had I think 40 years of success at this point. That puts them right up there with the Rolling Stones. They’re in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as of two years ago. Love that. That is the coolest thing ever. I was fortunate enough before I left California to go see a concert on their final tour ever. I want to give you a quote around choice from Rush’s song Free Will
“If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”