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Making fewer decisions makes you a better decision-maker

Making fewer decisions makes you a better decision-maker
13 May 2020 John Moore

Decisions, decisions, decisions. From deciding what time to get up, what to prioritise at work and deciding what time to go to bed, our lives are packed with decisions. It is estimated that the average adult makes about 35,000 conscious decisions each day.

Making effective decisions

Every decision we make has consequences – some are good, and others are bad, but they all have consequences. I discovered that studies by the University of Minnesota show that the more choices an individual must make each day, the worse they performed at the tasks they were given. Even the simplest of decisions such which shirt or blouse to wear today, depletes mental resources and our ability to make future decisions.

It appears that huge number of non-essential decisions we make each day diminish our capacity to make the more important decisions that we need to make. Anecdotal evidence suggests that one of ways to improve our decision-making is to eliminate as many of the non-essential choices from our lives as possible. Successful people such as Mark Zuckerberg and Barack Obama try to eat and wear the same clothes every day so as to leave their decision-making powers fresh for more demanding choices.

I’m not suggesting eating a chicken wrap for lunch every day will make you more effective and successful. What I’m suggesting is that you create some work-related and life-style choices and rituals. Open your emails after you have tackled today’s biggest challenge rather than opening first thing. Make a habit of going to the gym immediately after work. Invest in processes and procedures that you can use time and time again such as a preferred project planning model, setting aside one day per quarter to plan your company’s social media posts or write up minutes and actions immediately after the meeting.

I’m not promising you will become an overnight success; you will be able to reserve your decision-making energy for when you need it most on the BIGGER CHOICES THAT MATTER!



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John Moore has over 20 years experience of training and developing Managers, Coaches, Consultants and businesses. As Managing Director of Exponential Training, John researches, speaks, blogs and writes about how to improve performance. He also designs and delivers engaging, fun and interactive learning programmes. John is a Fellow Chartered Manager and has worked with managers and organisations in over 20 different countries.