Image by Kristin Baldeschwiler from Pixabay

Picture of people talking. Image by Kristin Baldeschwiler from Pixabay

There is one question that pops into my mind more and more as my business grows and I get more settled in life: “why are we talking?”

At first glance it seems very rude. To question the worthiness of every piece of discussion and interaction.

But this very simple question informs a lot. It helps me filter my time. It helps me get done more of what matters — and spend less time on what doesn’t.

So, yes, I ask this question a lot.

Let’s dive into what I have learned hoping that it might help you be more efficient too.

#1 – Everything Has A Reason

If you have big goals – and I hope you do – it becomes necessary to marshall resources for this goal. Quite simply any time you are doing one thing you are not doing another.

And you should have big things you want to do. And those big things will take time.

This means everything has to have a reason.

As Shannon J. Gregg tells folks when we do Time Magicment(™) training stress relief – or fun – are fine reasons to do something.

But if your use of time is not achieving a goal or relieving tension (adding fun) then it probably doesn’t have a reason. You can eliminate that from your world and accomplish more of what matters.

#2 – Knowing The Reason Informs Things

Knowing your reason for doing things changes your thinking and helps you make better decisions. Why are you talking to a particular person or doing this action? Just thinking about that makes you more efficient.

Stop to think about why you are doing activities and having conversations. What is your goal? What outcome do you want?

Thinking like this lets you think better about whether your interactions are working to your goals (or for fun).

#3 – Learning And Looking For A Fit Is An OK Reason

Sometimes when I meet new people – particularly online – people will ask me why we should talk.

And sometimes the answer is to explore whether we should be talking more or have a fit for the future.

To some people this seems like wasted time. But to me it’s a great use of time.

As much as I want to be efficient I don’t need a specific reason for every conversation. Sometimes the conversation and the learning is the reason. That will tell you if there is a reason to talk more.

The point is not to be a robot and work only on logic. Exploration can be a good and efficient use of time. Pushing when there is a dead-end in a relationship, however, is a waste of time.

#4 – This Is A Huge Time Saver On Social Media

I don’t think I’m the only one that has figured out that social media can be a huge waste of time.

I commonly scroll past people’s social media posts and ask “why are we connected?”

I do love social media’s ability to connect us. I learn new things from people all the time.

But some people I never learn anything from. Like the girl that constantly posts photos of herself dressed up to go out – but nothing else. Sure you are attractive but attractive people are everywhere. After enough of those interactions I figure I am not getting anything from the relationship.

And so, over time, I filter my feed. It accomplishes my goal of unfollowing one person per day.

Over time my social media has become more substantive and meaningful. I learn from others and interact with others where we help and teach each other. Asking why gets me to my goal.

#5 – A Lot Of Your Interactions Can Be Eliminated

And the truth is by asking that simple question of “why are we talking?” a lot of your interactions can be eliminated.

You’ll start seeing some conversations – and relationships – aren’t going anywhere.

And when there isn’t a point in talking you can move on. That free time will let you create, think, and maybe find those you should be talking to.

Believe me there is a beauty to getting rid of things you don’t need in your life. Simplicity and focus are great things.

What To Do Next

Asking “why” about conversations and interactions is both a mindset and a habit. It takes time and practice to implement.

So start testing it. Just do it a little at first. Ask yourself about 1 interaction per day.

After that, expand. Start using it more. Eventually use it for every conversation.

I’d love to know how this tip works for you. Drop a comment below and let me know.

By: The Our Shawn McBride, is the business nerd and long-time business attorney that focuses on changes of ownership in businesses. He works with business owners that know their business is about more than themselves to get ready for their future through keynotes, training and personalized solutions. In furtherance of this he hosts The Future Done Right(TM) Show where he collects, digests and gives lessons and insights on The Future of Business. If you want regular content on the future of business subscribe to get new blog posts from us here.

You’ll quickly notice his unusual suits which he uses open the conversation of how businesses should Do Business Differently™.

The Our Shawn is based in DeLand, Florida (between Orlando, Florida and Daytona Beach, Florida) and Dallas, Texas where he keeps offices. You can also find Shawn on webinars or traveling nationally or internationally for speaking engagements.

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