Being decisive is a cool and very important quality.

It requires energy and you to face fears of being wrong or even to look stupid.

It takes guts to be decisive but there’s no success without decisiveness.

It is an important quality not only in business but also in personal life because decisions unstuck you.

You decide which road to take and that makes some of the problems irrelevant and other ones more relevant and that is a good thing.

It’s better to solve issues that are right in front of your eyes rather than spend time and energy fixing things that might or might not happen in 1 year. In programming terms this is called premature optimization.

It’s good to look ahead but not too far ahead and only when it really makes sense.

Many books state that we have a limited pool of energy that we can use for decision per day. Every decision takes some of its contents. With the new day that pool gets replenished.

Even micro decisions take mental energy e.g. what clothes/socks to wear, what to eat for breakfast, do you want to drink tea or coffee.

To simplify this you can have rules to improve the decision making process.

For example:

  • you can prepare your clothes for the next day.
  • You can cereal during the week days and on pancakes on the weekend.
  • Deciding between: coffee or tea. Anytime between 5am & 4pm drink coffee otherwise tea.

There will be days when you’ve had to exercise your decision power and lot and at the end of the day you feel drained and deciding what to order for dinner can take minutes to make. That’s normal and is ok.

What if I make the wrong decision?

I was raised that making mistakes is a wrong thing. Thankfully I was able to change my perception by reading lots of startup/business books. Those books repeatedly mentioned that mistakes are just learning lessons. In the context of startups many decisions/experiments have to be made in order to find a working business model i.e. create something that people want and are willing to pay money for it & are actively looking for a solution.

Most of the time it’s better to make a decision early on because you’ll be able to course correct if things don’t work out as expected or you get new information that makes you change course.

In one of the business books I remember reading that a CEO mentioned that he/she has changed their mind rather than saying he/she was wrong J.

 

There are small other cases/exceptions that makes sense to delay making a decision they are called creative procrastination.

I like to do that from time to time for example when I need to implement a new piece of functionality. I plan things and evaluate what the options are. Wait a little and since the task is not finished (open loop) the brain desperately continues to look for other possible solutions.

It’s very important to have a way of organizing those thoughts on paper or electronically so you can free up some space in your mind so new ideas can come in. If you try to remember existing ideas and also generate new ones that’s not productive and doesn’t produce even OK results. It’s old school.

What is your decision making process?