Stress and deadline pressure can make you feel that you have to make fast decisions. But are they the right decisions? Sometimes it may feel like you’re having to cut a pie with a chainsaw. That leaves you with a big mess and very little pie.
In a complex, ever changing environment, you may feel like you’re constantly being asked to make too many on-the-spot decisions. You know that some demand more than a moment of consideration but you don’t seem to have the time.
I’m not suggesting procrastination but rather having a framework for considering what should be done next. It’s a key ingredient in my Clear Your Path philosophy, where you stop letting challenges overwhelm you.
Organ transplants are urgent. Most other things aren’t matters of life or death but we treat them like they are.
Be suspicious if you’re constantly having to make decisions under deadline pressure. Is there really that much time pressure or has someone been goofing around and now you’re expected to save the day?
Slimy used car salesmen rely on people making fast decisions when they are trying to sell a lemon. In this analogy, the thing you need to remember is that there are lots of other cars available to buy. Don’t be pressured into a bad decision.
For those big decisions, have someone with whom you can discuss the problem. You don’t have to follow their advice. By simply discussing the pros and cons out loud, your brain will continue to work on the problem. This even works if you’re talking to your dog.
Other alternatives include talking a walk or getting a good night’s sleep. In both cases, you’re giving your brain time to work on the problem. I often make the best decisions when I stop consciously thinking about them.
Are You Making Too Many Decisions
Are the members of your team empowered to make decisions or have you inadvertently trained them not to make any? Being a control freak can be good but it takes an awful lot of time.
Can some of that burden be transferred to others, leaving you more time to think about the big stuff?
This is less about giving others more power but rather having them present you with more information. It’s easy to just give someone a problem. It’s much better to give them a problem with some well articulated potential solutions.
This saves you from having to do so much of the mental heavy lifting as you’re no longer carrying the burden of having to do so much research on the problem.