There are very few things in life that require an immediate response.
I wrote earlier about how you can Triage Decisions to try to undersatand how much effort you should spend on each decision. I would add to that only to say that however long you think you should take, you can almost always take more time.
You can take a moment to collect your thoughts, to calm your emotions, or to see something from a different perspective. That time you take will often give you clarity in how you should respond, or if it requires a response at all. This is a good opportunity to apply a new Mental Model to the problem as well.
Even taking time in a realtime conversation is completely acceptable, take time to listen and collect your thoughts before responding. Try not to start thinking about what you want to say or how you will say it before the other person is done taking. What they say may surprise you and you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not listening completely.
So the next time you get that upsetting email take a moment.
The next time you are in a heated debate with a friend, take a moment.
You can live your life at your own pace, so take a moment.
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