Making the right decision is always desirable, but it is even more important to make a decision at all. Any decision.
Decision-making is the most important aspect of the CEO’s job and one of my favorite sayings goes “as long as you are making decisions, you are moving forward”.
Making decisions can be hard. There is even a term coined for the emotional drain the effort takes, experts talk about “decision fatigue”; and to conserve some of that “decision-making equity”, there is a little useful trick I first heard from Tim Ferriss. He defines the concept as “make the decision that removes 100 decisions”.
Here’s how it works:
You make a blanket decision on one aspect that is affecting your life or that is standing in the way to achieve some goal. And you apply it over and over again. It is sort of a “policy”. The next time the issue comes up, you don’t have to decide, the decision has been made way back. You can even outsource the decision!
Familiar examples of this are the decision to quit smoking or skipping dessert, and just saying “no” every time. But it can be applied to other areas, for example, when you decided that you will wake up at 5 AM and go for a run, regardless of how you feel, then you don’t anguish about it anymore. Or when you establish that you won’t take meetings that are not planned at least an hour in advance, they just don’t happen.
Set your policies.