“The Principle of Priority states (a) you must know the difference between what is urgent and what is important, and (b) you must do what’s important first.” — Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
Decision Making: Start Where You Are
Everything starts with a decision. And, it is the making of a decision that gets us moving in a new direction. In my opinion, I believe that making a decision, even a decision to not make a decision, is better than making no decision at all.
How does this relate to what’s on your plate?
So what’s on your To Do List? Perhaps you want to write a book. You need to develop a new program or course. Your website needs to be updated. Prospects need to be contacted. You have projects for your clients that need to be finished and delivered.
There are seminars and workshops to take, books to read, people to meet, places to go and the list goes on and on. Each of these items feels like they are high priority, high value, and necessary. Typically that’s just not true.
And, then there’s everything else you need to contend with in your life. All of this comes together in the perfect storm better known as “overwhelm.” When you’re in overwhelm, that’s when a host of other unfortunate things can kick in:
- Adding still more things to the list (some folks continue to pile on thing sjust to create impossible conditions)
- Making excuses for not getting things done
- Feeling sorry for yourself
- Blaming others
- Wearing busyness or overwhelm like a badge of honor
- Ignoring important responsibilities, things and people in your life – including your health, kids, spouse and so on
- Missing opportunities because you don’t have the lightness and flexibility to take advantage of them when they come along
These are just some of the things you might experience when in overwhelm.
What can you do? Two things. First, make some decisions to help clear away some of the overwhelm. Second, make them fast.
Make a Decision – and do it now …
The first thing is to write out a list of everything you want and need to get done. Next to each item, write down whether each item is a “yes”, “no” or “maybe.” Anything labeled as “no” or “maybe” should be let go of – and the sooner the better.
If these things aren’t what you truly want (are you doing any of these because of pressure from others – family, friends or colleagues), if they are not priorities, if they are not aligned with your values, if they aren’t forwarding the vision you have for your life or business, let them go. Examine each and every thing you’re doing in the light of these personal truths — for yourself. And, that includes the things you think you “need” to be doing. Many times, these are things that have been imposed on you, consciously or unconsciously, by others or even yourself!
This process requires courage. It calls on you to be fully grounded in reality – to understand that you cannot do everything and anything you want to in life. Life requires choices. And, at different times in our lives, we have differing levels of resources at our avail – among those – time, money, energy, health, other people, material resources and so forth.
Let’s add one more detail to this. It has to do with making decisions quickly. How long does it take you to make a decision? Some things might take you a minute, or a day, or a year, or even a lifetime. For most of us, we spend much too much time delaying decision-making for even the simplest of things. What can you do to speed up your decision-making process?
How much more could you achieve if you just made decisions faster? Think about it. So much of your personal power is tied up in how and how quickly you make decisions. Take a look at some of the resources, below, which offer great insight and ideas about better (and faster) decision-making.
Apply what you’ve learned ….
1. Practice making a dozen or so decisions, every day, for the next week, as quickly as possible. You may want to write them down to track your progress and to give yourself a sense of accomplishment. For example, if you eat out, instead of agonizing for 5 or 10 minutes about what to select on the menu, give yourself 30 seconds, make a selection and be done with it. It’s not a life and death decision. Ninety-nine percent of your life doesn’t involve that type of decision-making. Don’t waste your mental energy by taking precious minutes, hours, weeks, months or even years to make simple decisions. Just do it and move on.
As a support mechanism, you can use a kitchen timer or a stop-watch on your smart phone to give yourself some time limitations around making certain types of decisions. Start making more decisions every day and make them faster. Be conscious about what you’re doing. This will increase your confidence. You’ll feel more empowered. You’ll save valuable time – your lifetime. And, you’ll get more done because you’re not using up valuable time or mental energy agonizing over simple things.
The more you practice, the better you’ll become at making decisions quickly and confidently. Once you make the decision, let it go. Move on. Life waits for no one – so do your best to keep up with it by making decisions more quickly.
2. Make a list of all your To Dos. Make quick decisions about whether they are a “yes”, “no” or “maybe.” Delete anything labeled with the latter two – “no” and “maybe” and then pursue the others. Spend your valuable lifetime doing only those things to which your head and head say YES! Years from now, you’ll be happy that you did. Don’t live with regrets, or worse, die with regrets! Yikes! Life is about saying “no” to the things you don’t want so that you can say “yes” to the things you do.
Take Action Now!
To Your Success,
Other Resources for You!
“We must do our work for its own sake, not for fortune or attention or applause.” — Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
Article: Make Good Decisions Faster (Harvard Business Review)
Article: 6 Tips for Making a Better Decision (Forbes)
Article: How Can Decision-making be Improved? (Wharton)
Article: How to Make Good Decisions Faster (Psychology Today)
Book: The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield – This book is especially inspiring if you feel resistance in anything in your life – including making a decision! While it does focus on writing and such, this book has universal application.
About Tara Kachaturoff
I work behind the scenes — coaching, consulting and doing the detailed work — to help my clients increase their visibility, credibility and profitability. My years of experience, combined with my ability to organize, systematize and get things done, allows me to deliver high quality, creative and innovative work product to my business partners. I love working with my clients and collaborating with them on a variety of interesting projects.
If you’re ready to work with a coach to help you get the right things done faster, easier, with less effort, contact me at http://www.TaraKachaturoff.com and let’s set up a time to chat.
To Your Success — Sincerely Yours, Tara Kachaturoff
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