You stay stuck in place.
No Decision is a Decision
Many of us avoid decisions. We are afraid of the potential outcome of our decision. Or deciding feels hard. We don’t like the options or the result we might create.
I bet you can relate…
Maybe you have avoided confronting someone, changing jobs, going to the doctor for that persistent cough, or changing insurance companies.
Do you think that by not deciding about something…anything…that you have managed not to decide? Think again.
You’ve decided. You just decided not to decide.
Indecision is the choice to stay put…to not change…to do nothing or nothing different. It’s the decision to avoid what you know you need to do.
Is that the decision you want to make?
I doubt it.
Too Many Decisions Reduces Your Ability to Decide
Sometimes indecision comes from decision overload rather than avoidance.
Each and every one of us makes thousands of tiny decisions daily. For example, you decide:
- what to wear
- what to eat
- when to get up
- when to go to sleep
- what to watch on television
- who to text or call
- who listen to on the radio
- what route to take to the store
You get the idea.
It’s no wonder that larger decision then feels difficult to make. You’re decisioned out by the time you need to make a major decision.
To reduce the number of daily decisions necessary, some people, eliminate some decisions altogether. Think Mark Zuckerberg. He has no need to decide what to wear each day. His closet is filled with jeans, shorts, hoodies, T-shirts and flip flops. The only thing that changes his mind about what to wear each day might be the weather.
I had a friend whose work clothes consists of white shirts, black pants, and black shoes. She kept these clothes on one side of her closet. When she got dressed to go to work, all she needed to do was grab a shirt, pair of pants and shoes. No decisions necessary.
To reduce decision fatigue, it’s important to limit the number of decisions you make per day…the small decisions. That leaves you able to make the large ones.
One Strategy to Help You Make Decisions
If you are wondering how to make better decisions…or to decide at all, look to Suzy Welch for advice. Welch, a business writer for publications such as Bloomberg Businessweek and O magazine, created a strategy called 10/10/10, which she describes in a book of the same name.
To use 10/10/10, think about and evaluate your decisions using three time frames:
- 10 minutes
- 10 months
- 10 years
To use this strategy, first, choose a decision you need to make.
Now, answer these questions:
- How will I feel about this decision 10 minutes from now?
- How will I feel about this decision 10 months from now?
- How will I feel about this decision 10 years from now?
If you answer affirmatively to at least two of these questions—I’ll feel bad about the decision for the10 minutes after I make it, but in 10 months I’ll fell happy, and 10 years from now, I’ll be thrilled.—you’ve got your answer. You know what to decide.
By asking yourself these three easy but insightful questions, you can make decisions in just about every personal and professional aspect of life.
What to Do After You make a Decision
Making a decision isn’t enough, though. You can make a decision and have nothing change because you don’t do anything differently.
For example, if you decide to cut sugar out of your diet but you keep eating the same way as always, nothing will change. You haven’t committed to your decision by taking action.
Tony Robbins says that after you make a decision you have to take massive action. That means for each decision you make you need to develop an action plan that creates the result you desire.
Cut out the sugar! Stop putting sugar in your coffee, purchasing products that list sugar as an ingredient, eating cookies and candy, and drinking juice or soda. That’s how you take massive action.
What decision do you need to make—one you’ve been avoiding? And what action will you take to get the result you desire from making that decision? Tell me in a comment below.
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