In our series of this conversation on the Complexity of Decisions, I continue my thread of thoughts from yesterday. This is that aspect of our lives that we go through everyday, sometimes happily and sometimes apprehensively. It is that part which each of us has to go through and which also defines our future and our lives. We try to avoid it and shift it onto others. It is something that we alone are responsible for and it defines us.
Decision making is a complex activity that consumes many people. Self doubt and apprehension comes up the moment decision making begins. Whether to do something or not, to start something or not, to say something or to remain quiet, how to say something, how much to say, when to say, who to say to, to invest or to divest, to carry on or to stop, how much to do, to grow or to wind up, and such innumerable questions in our everyday life, test and challenge us.
While a lot has been talked about it, I have found some idiotically simple steps to do this. I intend to share these with you in the hope that you will benefit from it.
Step 2 of 7.
After the Step 1 of Discipline yourself for Decision Making, that I talked about yesterday, the 2nd step that needs to be taken is to decide A timeline for arriving at a decision.
Our decision making process can prolong itself endlessly or we may arrive at a decision out of an impulse. Both these situations can be dangerous for our and other’s health :). Consequently, I always begin my process of arriving at a decision by giving it a proposed timeline. This is that time span within which I intend to arrive at the decision. This timeline must ensure that not only is the decision not getting delayed but it is also not being arrived at too early.
Deciding a timeline for arriving at a decision is a decision by itself and this proves to be a great start in the process of acquiring this skill. The decision about arriving at a timeline requires one to think about all possible situations that will ensure a timely decision. I usually draw 4 columns to decide the timeline for decision making.
Problem Statement / Challenge to be Overcome: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Maximum time after which this Decision is useless
Minimum time I need to think and research for this decision
Possible Benefits that I expect from this Decision as a minimum benchmark
Possible Losses that are possible from my Bad Decision making
This can be number of weeks or days or even at times a specific date.
This is in number of hours or days.
A list of all the benefits that are numerical or emotional.
List of all possible losses that can be numerical or emotional.
This timeline then goes into my planner and a time in terms of number of minutes (not hours) is allocated to keep me on track on a daily basis. It is important to note that this step is taken without any noise in the head. Just stick to this step without any other thoughts disturbing you.
This helps me arrive at decisions, good or bad, that I am happy to live with, within a certain time line. I have also noticed that once a decision is taken, improvisations happen to achieve a desired goal.
Hope this is helpful for you. Have a wonderful day. My plans for the weekend are all set. It is time for the the Festival of Lights (Diwali) and I intend to spread cheer all around me.
See you tomorrow when we talk about Step 3 of 7.
Do read the blog 3 to 4 times to get best out of it. Apply it and experience. Share your experience. Your responses help many more.
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*top image credit: www.techrepublic.com