Making Decisions Saves Time
Deliberating over decisions wastes time. Making decisions saves time.
How many times have you ruminated over a decision…where to go for dinner, what color to paint your living room, what socks to wear today? OMG! How much time do we spend making decisions???
OK, let’s think about why we have a hard time making decisions. I believe we have too many choices. Too many great restaurants to choose from, too many paint colors (and they are so creatively named…right?) and too many clothes to choose from, so we waste time choosing.
We waste time because we’re afraid to make the wrong decision. Ones that we can’t hit “command Z” and undo. Ones that might cost us time and money, or make us look foolish. But we’re sacrificing valuable time deliberating over decisions.
Think about our ancestors of 100 years ago. Grandma (or maybe Great-Grandma, or Great-Great Grandma) had a few pieces of clothing. She wore the same dress for several days in a row. She didn’t have to think about where to go for dinner, because chances were good she was busy picking vegetables from her garden, or de-heading a chicken before she prepared the evening’s stew. She didn’t have many choices to make. She did what she needed to do, and got on with her day.
Today, we’re inundated with stimulus that makes decisions a multi-step process, that many times just wastes time.
Does this sound familiar?
A: “Where do you want to go to dinner?”
B: “Oh I don’t know, what are you hungry for?”
A: “I’m not sure…maybe something light?”
B: “Really? I was thinking about the new Italian Restaurant that just opened”
A: “I’ve heard mixed reviews. Kevin loved it, but Alison thought it was way overpriced, and the wine selection was poor”
B: “What about Thai food?”
A: “We just had Thai for lunch at work today”
B: “Oh, so that’s why you want something light. I had rabbit food for lunch…I’m starving”
…and the conversation goes on, and on, and on…
We have TOO MANY CHOICES. PERIOD.
The word decide means “to cut away”. Let’s cut away the time-wasting, brain-numbing, confidence-slashing ruminating.
Think about the concept of planning your day. What if you spent 30 minutes, once a week, writing your list of priorities and action items for the week, scheduled them on your calendar or monaplanner©, and then, you actually followed through with your plan. Imagine every night sitting down with said calendar and tweaked what needed tweaking, made decisions about tomorrow’s actions, and then…wait for it…actually did what was on your list?
In fact, if you look at my personal monaplanner©, you’ll see from 9-10 today says “finish blog”. I didn’t have to think this morning about what to write on my list, because it was already planned.
My belief is that most of us have the time in our day to accomplish what we need to do, but we spend an excessive amount of time trying to figure out what our priorities are.
I challenge you to try this for one week. Next Sunday night, do a “Brain Dump”, writing down every project and task you need to focus on during the upcoming week, then schedule them in your planner. Words of caution…don’t schedule more than 2/3 of your day. You’ll want to leave time to play catch-up with emails and phone calls.
Remember, making decisions saves time. Do it effectively.