Making Effective Decisions
Decisions, decisions, decisions. For me, something as simple as even choosing food from a menu can turn into a major thought exercise, risotto vs. lasagna is always a dilemma. But seriously, analyzing all the possible futures based on a decision can be exhausting. Various internet sources estimate we make about 35,000 voluntary and involuntary decisions a day. Another study at Cornell found we make over 200 decisions just on food alone. With so many daily choices, exerting our decision-making energy effectively will help us make the most of life's choices.
Focus on what you want as the basis for your decision. Not what anyone expects of you, what others might think, or how someone else might make the decision. If the potential outcome is aligned with your values and desires, you do you and be confident in your choices.
Say no to make room for yes. You can't have rainbows without rain and there wouldn't be a need for the word yes without no. Don't fill your time with so many obligations you've said yes to that when that special opportunity comes along you aren't able to take it on because you've said yes to so much.
Measure the scale of your decision's outcome. Suzy Welch has coined the Rule of 10 -10 -10 which is a gem to live by for serial overthinkers. Next time you find yourself in a decision state, ask yourself, "Will the outcome of this decision impact me for 10 minutes, 10 months, or 10 years?" and allocate the appropriate amount of time thinking about your decision based on the scale.
Know what is in your control and out of your control. Recognize what you can and cannot control as a part of your decision making process. There is no use in spending time on something you can't change (and yes, people are in the category). You may need to dissect a complex matter into smaller pieces to find your sliver of influence.
Ask yourself, "Am I being led by love or pushed by fear"? This question from Emily Freeman's book, The Next Right Thing is a game changer, along with the rest of her book! But seriously, how many times do we make a decision with a scarcity mindset vs. having faith in abundance?!
Do your homework. You can't predict the future but you can gather information to inform your decision. Understand the facts before you make a decision. A little bit of research may go a long way by helping you rule out a choice you would have otherwise considered without doing the necessary homework.
Make the decision in the present moment
You are making the best decision you can with the information you have at the present moment. There is no way to know how the outcome of your decision will impact the future, but start where you are and remember, you are exactly where you are supposed to be! There will never be a time in which you make a decision with the ideal circumstances. Be patient with yourself. All you can do is the next right thing and then the next right thing.
What have you done to help with decisions you have made in the past?
Leave your advice for the #30ishcommunity in a comment below!