Eliminate Grey Areas:
Simplify your Life by Simplifying Your Decisions
“When we focus on problems, we only find more problems; Focus on solutions instead.”
Studies show that we can only make a limited number of decisions effectively each day and Willpower is one of the driving forces behind making (effective) decisions.
If you think of willpower as a muscle, then it is easy to see how it might get tired and lead to the wrong decisions as the day slogs on, no matter how determined you are. Just close your eyes and imagine running all day or doing lunges – wouldn’t you get tired quickly?
If you look at willpower this way, imagine how much stressing over small, daily decisions impact the willpower you have to make important choices. Mark Zuckerberg wears literally the same outfit every day; Obama’s suits only had two color options. Why? They wanted to maximize their ability to make effective decisions and save their limited energy for the ones that matter most
How can we do this?
Ultimately, the focus must always be on yourself if we want to be successful in our daily lives. We can’t worry about things outside of our direct control and must focus on solutions instead of problems. Every single obstacle we face has three ways of dealing with it – find an excuse, find a solution, or make the best of a bad situation. Being able to quickly and productively navigate this process is a vital component to achieving your goals
SIMPLIFY YOUR DECISION MAKING
An easy way to help us stay focused on the right things is to have strategies that allow you to cut through any complex/unproductive emotions and quickly arrive at an effective solution . Strategies, often in the form of questions, make loads of information easier to handle and simplify our decision-making process. Firmly understanding our priorities is the first phase; effective questions is phase two.
PHASE ONE: ALIGN YOUR PRIORITIES WITH YOUR VISION
If we are failing to live our ideal priority order currently, it is probably because we have a difficult time saying no to distraction/negative feelings, emotions, and/or tempting environments. We think that by living according to “whatever feels good” we are acting freely, but really, we are living as slaves who are addicted to our feelings/emotions and relationships. Truly free people can keep their priorities in check regardless of their feelings. Slaves and addicts cannot say no. DON’T confuse freedom and slavery.
1. Identify your top 5 IDEAL priorities and list them (ex: 1. Faith, 2. Family. 3. Health, etc)
2. Make a second list of what your CURRENT priorities are (be honest)
3. Write 3 simple steps that you can take to help yourself reprioritize your current priorities to your ideal situation
PHASE TWO: ADOPT DECISION STRATEGIES TO AVOID OVERTHINKING
”Fail to plan, prepare to fail”
Many people are prone to overthinking and this drains our energy that could be dedicated to productivity. Overthinking pulls us from the present moment and puts us into a world of “what-ifs” and second guessing that never ends. The easiest way to battle any problem is to have a plan; making decisions is no different.
When making a decision, ask yourself questions to make the process easier and eliminate grey areas. Here are some examples:
1. Is this a good thought I’m having?
Effective Question: Is this predator or prey thinking? Weak or strong minded?
2. What should I do?
Effective Question: Does this reflect my priority list? Does this get me closer or farther for my goals?
3. In a bad situation?
Effective Question Can I change it? If not, how do I make the best of the bad situation
If you think that there are more effective questions to ask yourself, then by all means, utilize those as well! Watch how much easier it is to make a hard decision when now that you have a plan of how to do it!
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