Episode #206: How to Make Better Decisions

December 14, 2017
Management and Leadership
Human Performance and Productivity
Management
Leadership

Every day we’re tasked with making decisions.

Most of the time, these decisions are small (like deciding whether or not to floss today).

However, small things done consistently poorly versus consistently well over the long-term can have a devastating impact on where you end up, whether in business or in life. It’s kind of like the power of compound interest.

I’m no dentist but it’s pretty common knowledge that if you decide not to floss every single day then you’re staring down the barrel of bleeding gums, halitosis, premature tooth loss and yellow teeth, not to mention the link made between flossing and cancer prevention.

Similarly, within the context of the office, if I decide to check my email every 10 minutes it might seem like no big deal. “It only takes a second!” you insist.

But if checking my email, every 10 minutes, every single day, means that I’m constantly distracted by responding to other people’s demands on my time, and I never give my brain the space to get into ‘the zone’ and engage in what author Cal Newport calls deep work - which is where most worthwhile work is done - then over the long-term I’m unlikely to move the needle on any significant commercial or creative pursuits.

For more on getting into and staying in the zone, check out How To Increase Your Productivity by 500%

 

Yet, how often do we really think through our decisions as opposed to base them on how we’re feeling in that precise moment, by past experiences, by jumping to conclusions, through groupthink, by choosing whatever decision requires the least thinking or falling victim to one of the other 32 cognitive biases that plague our decision making.

In this episode of Fast Fix Friday, I'll provide one way we go about making decisions at Collective Campus, which admittedly, works best when working in a team of at least three trustworthy, radically honest people who have enough experience in said areas to facilitate a constructive process.

That’s not to say you can’t use it when making your own decisions. I do all the time (as somebody who suffers from FOMO, has a tendency to chase furry rabbits and struggles with the plethora of choices on a Mexican restaurant menu, I have no choice but to use this method), and it’s a better approach than how I’ve made the majority of decisions in my 34 years on this planet.


I’m not suggesting it’s perfect but I’d go as far as saying that it’s better than the way more than 99% of decisions are made based as it aims to mitigate many of those limitations of the mind and of the environment I outlined earlier. This framework tries to strike the fine balance between making sensical, rational decisions and analysis by paralysis, something that a fast moving, fast growing company like ours can ill afford.

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Management and Leadership
Human Performance and Productivity
Management
Leadership
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