Four Ways to Become More Flexible and Responsive in Your Personal Life

When you are dealing with people or businesses that are flexible and responsive, it enables you to save time and effort while maximizing potentially huge opportunities. For instance, if you’re looking to secure a home loan in a short amount of time, a mortgage firm with in-house lending processes will quickly work out the best deal for your needs and get back to you efficiently, as opposed to traditional lenders. Working with those who adapt quickly makes our lives easier, but we can also benefit further by cultivating those qualities within ourselves. Here are some ways you can achieve that goal.

Use reflection as a tool

Many people find that the biggest obstacle to being more flexible in their personal life is an excess of commitments, work, and pending tasks. You may have tried out any number of to-do apps and strategies to get things done, but these usually tend to address mostly low-hanging fruit or “quick wins.” Instead, be sure to reflect at the end of each day to evaluate your overall progress and complete the feedback for your personal OODA loop. This way, rather than just addressing an endless to-do list, you can focus on improving your process of handling things, identifying what you’re doing well, where you’re falling short, and which possible changes to make to be better. 

Plan short-term goals

Have you ever noticed that some tasks never seem to disappear from your list? Often, these tasks are too big to accomplish, given the limited amount of time we have in each busy day. Breaking them down is the key to reducing the complexity and amount of effort required to make progress. Make short-term goals when planning, and not only will you get big projects done, but you’ll also have a better idea of how to streamline your workload. It will be easier for you to determine which tasks you should accept, decline, or delegate so that you can retain more flexibility from day to day.

Stick to simplicity

You might have come across the principle of Occam’s razor: in essence, it states that the simplest solution is most likely the correct one. When applied judiciously in personal life, this principle can simplify complex projects and reduce the amount of brainpower (and probably willpower, too) that you need to get things done. Contemplating all the different ways to solve a problem just to find the best path is what often leads to procrastination. Identify the simple solution, work on it, and don’t worry about criticism from others.

Be deliberate in communication

In communication, responsiveness isn’t all about the speed of answering — you need to process the messages coming your way and deliver an appropriate answer. Failure to listen and address the core issues (which may be unstated) of someone you’re collaborating with can lead to email threads that go nowhere and only lead to delays and frustration. Be deliberate when you communicate, and you can better understand what others expect. In turn, this lets you swiftly deliver what’s needed or decide not to take on any additional tasks that you might struggle to handle.

Becoming a more flexible and responsive person isn’t about blindly saying yes to other people’s requests and putting too much work on your shoulders. Instead, it’s about knowing what you can handle, respecting other people’s time, and going about your business as efficiently as possible. Using these practices, you can streamline what’s on your plate, and have room to tackle carefully selected extra tasks.