So how do you rate your decision making?
I have been mulling over this for some time and came to the following conclusion. So why is this even a discussion, what’s the issue? I have not counted how many decisions I make every day, simply because there are too many. Like breathing, many of these are on autopilot, in fact there are even books that teach you how to make decisions without “thinking”. “Tap into your sub conscience as this could be less effected by your emotional brain”, but this is not the subject of this article. My issue is that we make so many decisions, and on a such a wide range of importance that it can be tricky to differentiate between the importance and impact of so many of our decisions. In addition to this, how many of these important decisions, are you held to account for? You know, those decisions that could have a longer term impact on you or your business? So what’s the outcome? This state leads to a lack of progress, failure to achieve your goals, an eroding belief system that makes you believe you are less capable of action. I could go on, but for sure, if I had to dollarize this problem it would run into hundreds of thousands of dollars. Not that this is just a dollar problem.
Well, one of life’s lessons that I keep on reminding myself, is that to obtain a different outcome I need to generate a different activity. And it is only through behavioural change, that I able to gener
ate long term, repetitive activity habits that lead to these desired outcomes. This could call for a hundred reps, maybe a thousand, maybe a week, maybe 10 years, depends on the level of change from the current situation, the difficulty to undertake and what’s at risk. So what’s the message? Only through discipline, foresight and many repetitions can we gain change.
So with my business hat on, I ask you? How many flippant decisions do you make that could be managed in a completely different manner? I can almost guarantee you that there are many. Take planning and exercises to improve your efficiency as an example. These are typical “tasks” that would fall into that “not urgent, but important” quadrant (The Eisenhower Decision Matrix). How many times have you made a New year resolution but never the second step, sometimes not even the first step? How many times have you created an awesome business plan only to let dust settle on it? Well maybe I have a solution. Its working for me at least. At this point I wish I could give you a scientific formulae, or secret recipe to download, but I don’t have either. I have two simple steps that if you action now, will deliver results:
- Kick your butt and commit to some discipline. Not the same old “butt kicking” that you have tried and failed out in the past, but rather the discipline to simply differentiate between decisions that lie in quadrant one, and those that don’t. Simple hey?
- Step two is even easier, and for this I have found that re-framing the word decision to “conviction” does the trick. Especially for those of you with at least a moderate level of self-discipline, the sub conscience mind treats this word with a whole bunch more respect. To make it stick, give as much value to this word as possible, this is an exercise you have to do. Next, share your convictions with others and hold yourself accountable. Use this word (convictions) in your documents, like your planning ones, so that this becomes part of your DNA, part of your routine behaviour.
This two step process seems too easy, but that is the magic of it. But treat it with respect: only use the word “conviction” on those quadrant 1 areas, do not develop a list of failed convictions, only winning ones. Success breeds success! Try it now, but to take effect you need to make it a behaviour, and I have written on that already.