We make about 35,000 remotely conscious decisions each day (in contrast, a child makes about 3,000).
It makes sense to get good at it, combined with creating simpler businesses and lives. Thirdly, we must set up routines and standards for as many areas as possible, so that questions and answers are not needed every time.
In our cul de sac with 17 houses, there is a plethora of decisions happening every day behind the gates, front doors or in an open conversation in the street. One person selling after 40 years and where to move. Young ones pondering about education. Should I take that extra piece of cake?
For both big and small decisions, what matters is to make the right decision. For you. The decision your future self will thank you for.
It is not easy. Not in business nor in your street. With so many decisions, big and small, every day.
We each run a different decision-making strategy, based on our macro patterns and subconscious entry/exit triggers. Whether we are aware of it or not, whether it’s working well for us or not.
We can get overwhelmed with decisions and end up in the indecision roundabout. When we are not ready to make the decision, it piles up with the other open loops. And we go round and round, never ready to choose one of the exits.
My best personal example was when we moved to Australia. Everything was new. North was South, winter was summer and nearly all logic and context for decisions were new. No well-known reference points.
With the 4 of us in new settings and getting into the meaty part of the organisation I was joining, there were new decisions every minute, every day.
One Friday I couldn’t make a single decision more. Big or small. Said yes to McDonald’s lunch with a few from the team – not my usual choice but thought that a global franchise would mean simplicity and no new decisions having to be made.
Well, I nearly cried when the girl at the counter asked me yet another question that I didn’t understand. The accent, the closed mouth as Australians do with no chance of lip reading, and a choice of 3 sauces which I couldn’t understand either of.
It didn’t really matter, it was a low-risk decision, but the small ones take up as much capacity as the big ones. Do you recognise that? They are all adding another open loop. Taking space from your band-with.
And that’s what’s overwhelming for our brain and our senses. In this Friday lunch moment, I just wanted no more open loops added. We can’t run away from decisions. They are presented to us all the time, big and small. Instead of ending up in the indecision roundabout or nearly crying in McDonald’s – it’s better to get good at making them. Consciously and your way.