Making decisions can be exhausting. And if you burn out from making decisions, you run the risk of procrastinating or making bad decisions. Or even worse, you spend too much time making fairly inconsequential decisions and then delay the important decisions you need to make.
I've been there and done that. Truthfully, if I wasn't aware of it and build systems to prevent it, then I'd likely consistently prioritize making unimportant decisions just because they're the easy ones. And that wouldn't be good.
So here are three simple strategies that help me make better, more important decisions.
- Largely wear and eat the same things. Boring things. This is something I even warn my students about. Look, you'll see me wear a blue shirt most days. It's not the same shirt. I just have a bunch of them. Ditto for nutrition. By largely eating the same healthy boring things every day, I eliminate having to make most food decisions. So when I do have to make a meal decision, I eat whatever the hell I want. That tends to then be a decision I enjoy.
- Build systems to delegate. If there is a task I can delegate, I will try and build the systems that allow me to do so. I also spend a great deal of time trying to make smart hiring decisions so once the person starts work, I don't have to micromanage them. When I do work with people, I constantly try to empower them and ask what their recommendations might be.
- Schedule time for the important decisions. When I know I need to dig deep on a project or an issue (and make a bunch of decisions), then I try to block off time to do so. And that time tends to be in my most productive blocks of the day (mid-morning for me).
- Follow first principles thinking to help make complex decisions. There are many people much smarter who have thought about how to best make certain decisions. When stumped, I use their frameworks to help with my decisions.
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