Work Traits

Period of Time

A focus on period of time is especially beneficial in research, accounting, induction, and pattern recognition amongst various other aspects of business.
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What does a focus on period of time mean?

A high focus on period of time means you require a specific sense of time to have passed before you can be convinced of a person, competency, or a business idea.

The specific length of time varies from person to person and in different business contexts. You might only need a couple of hours to pass before you can confidently make a decision, or maybe weeks, months, or even years. 

You aren’t readily convinced after one exposure and you’ve been known to say, “I need to sleep on it.”

We call it: Period of time

Level of importance for a specific period of time to pass with something in order for you to be convinced.

One moment of patience may ward off great disaster. One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life.

Chinese proverb

Leaders who were convinced by a period of time

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

One of the best examples of a period of time decision process in action is former President of the United States, Barack Obama. Before authorizing the raid on Osama Bin Laden, he famously needed to “sleep on it.”

Undoubtedly, it was a big decision with huge consequences. President Obama knew that he couldn’t make a rash decision and instead opted to let a period of time pass before he made such an impactful, influential, and history-making choice.

James Cameron

Creativity isn’t something that happens on-demand, and nobody knows that better than film director, James Cameron. He’s known for box office hits like Titanic and The Terminator

However, one of his biggest creative feats was Avatar—a film that reportedly took him five decades to make. He had his first inspiration for the film when he was a child, and then patiently waited for the right technology to become available to actually make the film in the way he envisioned. He recognized when a period of time needed to pass before he should take action. 

“To convince people to back your idea, you've got to sell it to yourself and know when it's the moment,” he was quoted as saying. “Sometimes that means waiting. It's like surfing. You don't create energy, you just harvest energy already out there.”

James Cameron
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You’d be hard-pressed to identify someone who embraced letting a period of time pass before making decisions than Greek philosopher, Socrates. 

He was by no means a rash decision-maker, as evidenced by his development of the Socratic Method—which involves asking a series of questions to encourage critical thinking that should take place over a period of time before reaching a conclusion.

He was willing to let time pass and to ponder, rather than acting quickly or impulsive. “True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us,” he said.

The benefits of period of time

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Patience and a period of time allows more space for information and data to come in, which can help to strengthen your decision-making and boost your confidence.

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A period of time gives you ample room to think through risks and consequences, rather than making rash or impulsive choices.

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Thoughtful decisions

Being deliberate with your decision-making by waiting for a period of time means you don’t make knee-jerk or reactive choices. You’re very intentional.

The blind spots of period of time

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Slow decision-making

Because you’re highly convinced by a period of time, you aren’t able to make quick decisions—which are oftentimes necessary in the business world.

illustration of a blind spot of a trait

Continuing issues

Waiting for a period of time means problems or issues within a business can persist for longer than they should, because you’re slow to act on them.

illustration of a blind spot of a trait


Your team can become frustrated by your slow and deliberate choices, as they can’t understand or relate to your convincer process.

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How to be convinced by a period of time

1) Resist impulses.

If you have the tendency to go with your knee-jerk reactions or first impulses, getting comfortable with letting a period of time pass is going to feel foreign.

Remember to breathe and pause. When a big decision comes up in a team meeting, ask if you can ponder your choices and come back with your conclusion tomorrow. It’ll take a little getting used to, but you’ll get more comfortable with this convincer process.

2) Set a timeline for yourself.

Many people need to set a deadline to inspire themselves to make forward progress. But, with regard to a period of time, this is about accomplishing the opposite.

Rather than saying, “I need to make a decision by Tuesday…” flip the script to say, “I’m not going to make a decision about this until next week.” Of course, the exact date is flexible. The point is to use a deadline to push your decision out a ways, rather than opting to tackle it immediately.

3) Understand what’s urgent.

Some decisions have a short timeline, while others don’t need to be made immediately—or even next week or next month.

If you’re unsure about how pressing something is, ask clarifying questions. Those will help you understand what’s urgent and what’s not, so you can selectively choose when a period of time is most beneficial.

4) Get comfortable with uncertainty.

Many times, we try to make a speedy decision because we’re uncomfortable with loose ends. We’d rather make a decision now, so we don’t have that pending choice hanging over our heads.

If you’re going to start to be convinced by a period of time, you need to become a little more secure with uncertainty. Remember, not everything needs to happen or be decided right this minute.

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