How to Use a ‘Vent Clock’ to Regain Hours of Your Time Each Week
by Robin Sacks
It’s human nature. When something frustrates us, angers us, or just confuses us because we can’t rationalize why someone did something, we vent.
We complain about it to anyone who will listen. We bring it up over and over, long after the event or conversation happened.
Venting can be a healthy thing to do, but have you ever paid attention to how much time you spend venting? Try this…for one week, keep a log of how much time you spend complaining. I guarantee your total number will astound you.
But you can get back most of that time and use it for things that are much more productive, healthy, and just plain useful.
Here’s how; give yourself permission to vent for a specific amount of time. After that, you’re done.
I call this technique using a ‘vent clock.’ For example, let’s say that I had a phone call this morning that really got me mad. What made it frustrating was that I have had this exact same conversation with this same person four times already! They know what they need to do, they are just choosing not to do it. Yet, they are still taking my time up to continue to talk about it…again.
I could let myself carry that frustration throughout the day, walking around with a short fuse, and when people ask me why I’m in a bad mood, I could tell them how this person is making me crazy because they are not taking personal responsibility for their actions. In other words, I could continue to vent.
OR…I could hang up the phone and immediately use my ‘vent clock.’ Here’s how it works :
- I set the timer on my phone for five minutes
- I hit “start”
- I have up to five minutes to vent!
- When the time is up, I pick up my phone, walk away, and never complain about that particular call again
You will find three things by doing this:
- You may struggle to fill the full five minutes (because most things really aren’t that big a deal once you just get them out!).
- You feel empowered because you made a conscious decision to be intentional about your anger/frustration/disbelief, thereby taking control of the situation instead of allowing it to take control of you.
- You will get back a bunch of time that you used to spend complaining about the same things over and over and over again.
P.S. What would you do if you were more confident? Visit RobinJSacks.com to learn how to shift your self-talk, body language, and mental-game so you feel less stressed and more confident.