The BS Files are kinda like the X-files – full of myths and urban legends and mysterious things. I feel that it is my duty to tackle them (occasionally). Because, you know, the truth is out there. I think I’m going to handle one case a month, so here is September’s case.
Case #5. I’m weighing my options. Bullsh*t!
This one looks good, right? I’m doing research, investigating, evaluating the pros and cons, making an informed decision, deliberating, getting a second (or third or fourth) opinion. I’ll make my decision after I have all the information.
Good right? Well, not if I look deeper.
What’s really going on is this: I’m stalling. I’m delaying, procrastinating, taking my time. I’m nervous. I’m worried. I’m scared. What if I make the wrong decision (as if that’s never happened before!) I fool myself into believing that if I take my time, I’ll make the right decision. I’ll get better at making decisions by researching.
Truth: I already made a decision to do nothing. I have narrowed my options down to 1.
Truth: You don’t get better at making decisions by research. That’s like saying you get better at riding a bike by playing the accordion. You get better at making decisions by making decisions.
Actually making a decision takes about 5 seconds. The research and investigation part happens before you make a decision.
If you get it wrong, you can always make another decision. Okay, almost always. There are times when there are enormous consequences without a do over – like when McGyver had to choose which wire to cut on the bomb. But even in that situation, the decision had to be made quickly.
Efficient research and evaluation can be quicker than you think, especially if you decouple it from the emotional impact of making a decision.
Pick. Choose. Decide. It’s a skill. It’s a super power. Get better at making decisions by making decisions. Not by playing the accordian, please. Case Closed.
And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!
Have a topic for the BS files? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!