Day 7: Make Time for Thinking
When I was in graduate school I had a professor who would say, "don't underestimate the amount of time it will take you to think through these challenges," and he was absolutely right.
When you're dealing with complex concepts, doing research and trying to answer a question, uncover the best methods or evaluate the outcomes of a particular intervention, you need to take time to think. You need to find the time and physical space to think. Not on the go, not while you're in a meeting, but a dedicated physical space where all you're doing is thinking.
Fast government is kind of a paradox, but that's what seems to happen. We see local leaders make rash decisions to appease upset constituents or to quickly address "a fire," yet by constantly reacting to whatever is urgent right now, there is a failure (intentional or not) to plan in a way that allows room to think and make better decisions.
That is not to say that each decision needs to take you days or months, but rather that clarity comes when we cancel out the noise and give ourselves the necessity (not the luxury) of time.
Constituents and stakeholders depend on actions that are well thought out because it is almost impossible to undue bad decisions and their consequences.
Adria is a community development consultant. She loves all things local and when she's not writing online you can find her enjoying the outdoors.