Decisions are very personal and so much goes into them, that oftentimes it is much easier to be indecisive. However, indecision does not support goals. Goal setting is crucial in driving productivity. So, how does one make a decision faster and how do we know that is the right one?
Here are the 3 P's:
- Personal motto
With each P, we’ll break down a big decision and a small decision. Say the big decision is career-related and the small decision is a consumer purchase. Each decision we make either helps or hurts our approach to supporting the 3 P’s
What is your personal motto?
Ideally, it helps if your motto reminds you of who you are and what you stand for. Some great personal mottos replace destructive thinking with healthy self-regulation. Some mottos are designed to change a habit. Whatever it is, have one. It will drive your day and through driving your day, it will drive your decisions. Say for example, you see yourself as a leader. Your personal motto is all about helping the people and the organization you lead. Because of that motto, on a daily basis you are practicing being selfless. When decision making, you are checking your motivation and asking yourself if you are doing it for your personal gain or for the benefit of others. I’m imagining it’s the latter.
"Seize the day"
An example for a career related decision is whether or not you should start your own business. Say your personal motto is “Seize the day,” then starting a business may work for you. You drive your own destiny and you want to accomplish as much as possible in one day. Now try to apply that motto to a consumer purchase. You are deciding on what to eat for lunch. If you haven’t yet seized the day, then you are probably looking for a fast option and something that will not prevent you from feeling too full.
Secondly, what are your priorities? You may be trying to make better business decisions, own your own business, or trying to make more income. Or you may be trying to prioritize your health. Whatever they are, it’s important to know and understand all of them, and also know how they rank. As difficult as it sounds, recognizing your priorities helps you make decisions that ultimately make you happier.
Now, let’s apply your priorities to the same big and small decision we had earlier. You are still deciding on whether or not you should start your own business. You’ve listed your priorities as:
Sure, starting your own business may be costlier in the beginning, and you might not make the income right away, but there may be some great opportunities for more income in the near future. You may have to sacrifice some quality time with your family, but you may be able to provide more for them in the future. You will also have some flexibility with when you’d like to work out during the day. As for your consumer purchase, you are still thinking about lunch. Since your current income may or may not support a lavish lunch, you will likely decide to eat something quick and cheap as you value saving your income to provide for your family highest.
After you’ve determined your priorities, then it’s about relating those priorities to being productive. Your ability to be productive is directly linked to your ability to make decisions, which goes for every area of your life, not just work. Being organized and making decisions go hand in hand. Just to approach a task like sorting mail requires being able to make serious decisions. What to answer, what to calendar, what to ignore and what to delete might take more time than you realize.
Establishing routines and creating systems of how you will approach decisions will increase your productivity. Once you understand that there is a task you don’t want to do, for example, an email you can’t deal with right away it’s ok to do it later. You just need to make sure you are actually taking steps to deal with it later, for example, scheduling time on your calendar to address it. Creating themes of the week when you deal with admin responsibilities, whether it’s bills that need to get paid or snail mail that needs to get opened means you are prioritizing tasks that require decisions. The only problem with saying, I’ll do it later is that sometimes later never comes. Sometimes you need to put your head down, focus, and