Life In The Fast Lane’s Best Call: A 20-Second Timeout

Anyone who’s watched a professional football or basketball game is familiar with the concept of the 20-Second Timeout.

When things are getting especially tense, the team calls a 20-Second Timeout. Everyone gets together on the sideline, takes a deep breath, discusses strategy, etc. Likewise, in our jobs or our personal lives taking just 20 seconds can make a big difference.

Imagine you are getting ready to walk out the door to meet some friends and see a movie. Before you do, you stop for just 20 seconds and think “Am I forgetting anything? Is there something else I can do along the way?”

You might remember that you’re running a little short on cash and there’s an ATM next to the movie theatre. Or maybe you recall that the last time you went to that theatre it was cold, so you should bring a sweater.

Twenty seconds was all it took.

Suppose you’re getting ready to call a client about a proposal you sent earlier that week. You’re just about to reach for the phone, but you pause first to ask yourself if there’s anything else you can discuss with that client.

You remember that she previously expressed interest in another product of yours, so while you’re on the phone, you bring this up as well. “Glad you mentioned that,” the client says, and away you go.

Twenty seconds can make a big difference. Commit to make the 20-Second Timeout part of your routine and watch things fall into place like a well-thrown touchdown or buzzer-beating basket.

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