Decisions, decisions – What can you do?
We are all faced with 100s of decisions every day. How easily we decide and move on may make all the difference between a “smooth” day and one with anguish. The more Decision-Making-Frameworks we have, the better our day tends to go.
Take the mail for example: Mail carrier delivers mail. You bring it into your home. How do you deal with it? Are there things you can immediately
- Things to follow up later that you decide right now when and how they will be taken care of
- Bills to pay on a certain date
- Letters to answer and time scheduled on your calendar to write
- Magazines to read and when and where you will read them
Do you have anything left over that you are undecided about? That may become clutter. Soooo, one of my definitions of clutter is “deferred decisions”.
So, how do we create Decision-Making-Frameworks?
Story: Hey Ref!!
I am a soccer referee. You won’t find me on national television reffing a championship game, but you might find me on a pint sized soccer field. So? What does that have to do with Decision-Making-Frameworks?
The job of a referee is to make decisions – lots of decisions – throughout the entire game. You cannot delay a decision until tomorrow or even think about it for a few minutes. So you have to have a Decision-Making-Framework. It looks something like this:
- Is there a situation that requires a decision to be made by the referee?
- Make a decision in accordance with the “laws of the game”. Easy! Easy? That’s where the trouble starts. There are only 17 laws of the game. The laws are modifiable by each league and vary based on age. The level of enforcement or leniency may change by age. In the end each referee develops their personal style of refereeing within those laws. Consistency and neutrality is key.
- There is no pause or instant replay on a live game. Either the referee catches what just happened anywhere on the field or she didn’t. Meanwhile she runs back and forth, trying to anticipate and be in the best position to see what happens.
- When the ball goes out of play, everyone expects the referee to instantly decide how to restart the game. And of course there is a biased audience. Invariably there is someone who is vocal or even hostile if they believe the referee has made a mistake against their team.
Conclusion: as a referee you are in front of a potentially hostile audience who is watching your every move and lets you know if they disagree with your decisions. You are expected to see everything, and make instant decisions that are correct – every time.
Next time you watch a sporting event – please have mercy for the referee. They are human.
Call to Action and Why This Matters:
Become aware of your conscious and unconscious beliefs that influence your decision-making.
What if you believe that “knowledge is power”?
Back to our mail example. There may be interesting reading material, an offer to buy some educational material, an offer for something that might be of interest. Your belief may interfere with your ability to decide to let go of a piece of paper and cause your reading piles to get bigger and bigger.
What are some beliefs that may interfere with healthy decision-making:
- Knowledge is Power (growing reading piles)
- Waste not, want not (keeping things you no longer need)
- Money is the root of all evil (trouble with saving money)
- Expecting things to be perfect (constantly finding fault)
- Things “should” be this way or that way (frustrated with others)
- … Insert yours here
You may have conflicting beliefs that keep you stuck. Often limited time or money is seen as the culprit, when in fact decision-making and priority management might take care of some of the conflicts.
Become conscious about your priorities and values, then value-based decisions become easier with practice and consistency. These then form our Decision-Making-Frameworks.
Taking it Farther:
Create your own Decision-Making-Frameworks. You may start by seeing what you do now. Create a flowchart of your decision making process like this example.
Once you see what you do now, you can see where you get stuck. That’s where you may have beliefs or conflicts that interfere with your decisiveness. As you gain clarity, you will have more things you can decide easily. Discovering your beliefs and conflicts may require help.
Want more help? I’m here for you. Tired of holding yourself back? Get relief! Call to get yourself into coaching and get where you want to go faster. Have questions? Call to get answers. Edith at 847.913.3900