I heard this phrase the other day. To be fair, the manager saying it was joking. However, about fifteen minutes into our discussion, her phone buzzed and she (almost compulsively) checked it. She looked up and apologized that she needed to respond. It would only take a minute.
After finishing her response, she was back and totally focused on our discussion. Where were we, anyway? I wasn’t exactly sure, but I did write the following in my meeting notes:
I don’t have time to think, I’m too busy responding.
Have you fallen into this trap? Are you so busy responding that you don’t have time to think? Thinking takes time, energy, and discipline. Responding requires only two of these resources. Guess which one’s missing when all we do is respond. Discipline.
Discipline is a choice. Discipline helps us consciously think about the world as it comes at us. Discipline provides the space to consider alternatives, and imagine new possibilities. Discipline helps determine if a response is needed at all.