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My older sister was an emergency room nurse for many years. She mentioned to me recently that they used this motto in the ER to train staff and I felt like my brain flipped upside-down- “Waaaaiiit, don’t you mean the opposite…?” but then I understood it. It’s actually a super Joumorous motto referring to the dangers of hastily taking action without taking the time to get a complete grasp of the situation.

Although most of us don’t deal with life and death on a daily basis, this motto still applies for the Productivity and Organization minded: “Don’t just do something, stand there” means employ the Joumor Principles:

Preparation is everything and everything is preparation: When we don’t prepare, it doesn’t go well, and in fact all things we do are preparation for something, whether we realize it or not.

5/1=> 5/3: Amateur Joumor Time Planners spend 5 minutes (at least) of planning for every 1 minute of action, and the more advanced spend 5 minutes of time planning for every three minutes of action. Note: for things to have a chance to go well, there is proportionately more planning needed than action.

Think this is a pipe dream in an ideal world? Well yes, most of us don’t operate this way. Most of us rush, make bad decisions, pay the price, and keep spiraling downward until we crash and/or exit the situation screaming. (Ok, maybe not all of us all the time but it can feel like that!).

Yesterday my client made an unjoumorous time decision when he left himself just 45 minutes to contact tech support for his email problems before dinner and an event. My Joumor students are shuddering right now, knowing there are no Blocks and Buffers built into this time frame: Minimum 15 mins buffer, and all things tech support, phone plans, insurance, taxes, returns, customer service are planned with a minimum of 90 mins- 4 hours to Set Yourself Up to Win. Why so much time? For protection.

The Tale of the Unjoumorous Time Decision:

1. With only 45 minutes to resolve the broken email situation, my client, who has heart problems and high blood pressure, got stressed.

2. It turned out he had called a scam number that acted like his email provider and they pressured him to purchase their service. Due to weakened boundaries thanks to stress, he did not hang up the phone, and agreed to buy their service.

3. He ate dinner in 10 minutes although his family had made him a special meal. (Note how closely related all of our actions and our relationships are).

4. He rushed to the event, and was perturbed by his phone ringing TEN TIMES by the scammers while there.

5. He returned home to continue dealing with the problem, distracted and stressed.

6. The next day he took his computer to a computer place where they uninstalled whatever the scammers had done and he of course had to pay for it.

7. He is still trying, as I write this, to put a warning in with the credit company Experian in case of more trouble like hacking or fraudulent charges from the scammers.

It might sound like a crazy and uncommon story, but raise your hand if you were ever late, decided to take a taxi or drive instead of the train, and ended up in traffic that made you later than you’d been if you’d taken the train! You know what I’m talking about.

In a way, my client lost two days of his life, some money, and added tons of stress to his already fragile system in an effort to make a decision while stressed for time. Friends, it cannot be done. Oh, you can do it, but your best decision won’t be made, and you’ll probably be late anyway, whether or not you literally “pay a price.”

Luckily, we’re not in the ER. Luckily, we don’t have to make life and death decisions on a regular basis. But remember- protect yourself, your nervous system, your health and your ability to make decisions.

Set Yourself Up to Win. Give yourself plenty of time to deal with things well and make the best decision. Be as Joumorous as you can. And when in doubt, “Don’t just do something, stand there.”

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