Most of us go through life automatically and completely oblivious to our thoughts. We live as if decision making (which often seems insignificant to us), does not have the power to shape our reality.
And regardless of the damage they have caused us, and the time and opportunities that we have lost due to them, we repeat bad decisions and in many cases we do it without even realizing it.
Personally, it has taken me years and a lot of practice to feel comfortable in this aspect and I tell you something from experience: If you are not satisfied with your current life, the key to achieving those things you want and the life you dream is to strive to change the way you the one that you make your decisions, from this moment.
Giving up my job to dedicate myself to travel and giving me the opportunity to live my dream, has been the most difficult decision, but also the most successful and beneficial one, that I have made in my whole life.
There are Hundreds of Options and Thousands Of Distractions
We live permanently busy. If we ask someone “How are you?”, You will most likely answer: “Good, but busy.” And we feel identified, because most of the time we are fine too … … but busy .
And it seems to us that it is completely normal; Moreover, we see the opposite as something strange. We think that those who do better, are precisely those who have more decisions to make and are busier.
Be very careful with this, because we are not saying that having work, goals and purposes is a bad thing. But we are of the opinion that there should be a limit, right?
The Making of Essential Decisions
Essentialism is not about doing less, nor about working harder and faster to have more free time, but we talk about defining what are really important things, the essential ones.
And only when we have this clear is that we must go after those goals, because it is about taking the reins of our life and managing to live it by design , not by default .
We confuse “I can do anything I want” with “I can do everything.” However, we must bear in mind that, if we try to do everything, nothing will look good and in the end we will only wear out.
Essentialism teaches us to do only the right things, in the right way and at the right time.
If, for example, what you are doing is neglecting your children to be able to work overtime on a project they assigned you, the feeling of guilt will completely overshadow the joy of success.
Only if we make a truly intelligent investment (both of our time and our energy), towards goals that are really essential for us, will we be able to feel happy and blameless.
Why is Essentialism Indispensable in Decision Making?
Most of the time (and the worst part is that we do it without even realizing it), we usually give third parties an implicit permission to choose the way we spend our time, effort, energy and money.
We follow trends and trends (which most of the times do not interest us at all), imposed by people we do not even know, just for trying to fit into a group that most likely, is not the most suitable for us.
It is precisely for this reason that essentialism requires us to deal with situations first and base the decisions we make on our own criteria, rather than just following the flow.
We understand that sometimes this can be overwhelming, since in the last decade there has been an exponential increase in public options (which make us lose sight of important things) and social pressure (whose influence manages to affect our decisions most of the time ).
So it is essential that we have very clear that, if we do not apply our own criteria when making our decisions, we are allowing others (bosses, colleagues, friends and family) to take them for us, all in order to fulfill their own agendas and leaving ours in second, and even third.
Decisions Making Types:
1. Intuitive and Rational Decisions
As we all know, intuition is the ability to understand a situation or information without the need to reason. Therefore, we can define intuitive decisions as those we make almost without thinking.
On the other hand, when talking about rational decision-making, we refer to when individuals first analyze the facts, following an established process to decide.
2. Scheduled Decisions
The programmed decisions are those that are well structured, which generally have a repetitive frequency and that have clear and specific objectives.
3. Routine Decisions
They are the ones we take daily and that require little research or investment of time. For example, choose the hair color that you will ask your stylist, when you go to your favorite beauty salon.
4. Strategic Decisions
Strategic decisions are those that have a great long-term impact within a company or business, or that significantly affect your life and professional development plan.
5. Tactical Decisions
They refer to the implementation of a strategy that has previously been agreed upon, and generally have a medium-term impact.
6. Operational Decisions
These are decisions that relate to the implementation of daily processes within a company, and that usually have a short-term impact.
Personal or Life Decisions
They are those that can literally change your life.
In making these types of decisions, we undergo a process built on a solid foundation of personal values, those that have been influenced by our family, mentors, friends and colleagues, and which are also based on our own life experiences and social customs .
But, although personal or life decisions are greatly influenced by others, in the end they are almost always reduced to the decision of each one of us.
Example of a personal decision:
Discover your true purpose and what you really want to achieve with your life.
- What are the things that truly passionate and bring you happiness?
- What are your talents and skills?
- What could combine your passion with your talents?
- What are the activities that generate greater benefits to your life?
To make these kinds of decisions, I am in favor of analyzing the following: If you don’t have enough days to do everything you want, if you don’t have enough time to spend with your loved ones, if you can’t really enjoy a moment of relaxation alone for you … … then the safest thing is you are doing too much.
Tips For Decision Making
1. Learn to Make Concessions at the Time of Making Decisions
Not everything is important. However, it seems that we are always busy with things that “we can’t stop doing.”
If for a matter of time, your goals are more than you can accomplish, it means that you have not determined which ones are really essential for you.
For example, if you have two major projects and each one is going to take a long time to develop, you will probably have to choose one and leave the other aside, at least until you can finish the first one. So instead of asking yourself how you are going to take the time to achieve both, analyze which of the two is the most important at the moment and start there.
By forcing ourselves to make these kinds of decisions, we will realize what really matters to us and we need to focus our efforts on it, significantly increasing the chances of a good outcome.
You should not see this as giving up something, but as deciding what will make you really happy, so you can do it big.
2. Do Not Live The Dream of Another
Have you ever heard of FOMO? These acronyms mean “Fear of Missing Out” which in Spanish translate to “fear of missing something,” and is one of the wrong reasons that many base their decisions, especially on the professional side.
The idea that “we must be part of” and that we need to acquire everything that has been called “relevant” by today’s society, makes us live with constant anguish and stress. Worse, we experience disappointment and sadness at not obtaining it.
If, for example, you see that your friends post on the social networks the photos of that “top” event that you could not attend, or while all your relatives bought the last iPhone before you, that can make you feel unsuccessful.
Once you manage to define what are truly essential things for your life, you will lose your fear and you will understand that you do not have to be part of absolutely everything to be happy.
3. Eliminate What Doesn’t Mean in Your Decision Making Process
Try to eliminate any activity that does not match your goals and objectives (and be careful, it is not just about work). If you want, for example, to improve your physical condition, you will probably have to spend less time watching television.
We tend to waste a lot of time on activities that do not give us any benefits, but this only happens when we are not clear about our goals.
Compare your daily activities with your next goal and analyze if both are aligned. If the answer is no, try replacing some of these trivial activities with others that bring you closer to achieving your goal.
4. Never Give Up to Pressure When Making an Important Decision
Take the necessary time and think things through before giving an answer. As immediate as you think it should be, you owe yourself the time to define whether or not it is your best option.
Even at work, not because your boss asks you for something means you should always say yes. Even an intelligent boss will prefer that you explain why your idea does not seem good, or if you are too busy to do that job as it should be.
5. Rest. Never Decide Something If You are Tired!
One of your priorities should be to sleep at least 8 hours a day. If we do not rest properly, we will not work properly and much less we can make wise decisions.
By not getting enough sleep, we not only affect our energy level, but our good mood and decision-making ability.
Forget the famous “Don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today”. If you have to sacrifice necessary rest hours to do something, leave it for tomorrow and rest. After a good night’s sleep, you will surely have a much more productive day and you will feel more creative.
6. Decide With 90% Security
If you are 100% sure of something, do it now, and if you are 90% sure of something, do it. However, if your security only reaches 89.9%, then don’t do it.
This may seem somewhat extreme, but if we are not sure enough to want something, it simply means that it is not essential for us. Be guided by: “If it is not a clear yes, then it is a clear no.”
7. Do Not Attempt To Complete The World
If your purpose is not to make everyone happy, then don’t even try.
To have the time to do what we want and be happy, we must learn to see ourselves as a priority, in most situations.
If you are a good friend and a responsible employee who delivers good results, stopping at a birthday or work party will not make you run out of friends or get fired.
If that time you need it to do something that is essential for you , then do it, and the next time you are with your friends or your coworkers, you can give them your full attention because you have already dealt with what you needed to do for yourself and for you.