As with most major life decisions, it’s helpful to be objective by listing the facts. A simple list of pros and cons is one way to go, but let’s go one step further with a “ladder rule” that allows you to climb to a resolution in about 5 minutes:
Rung #1: Ask yourself two simple questions. Will this decision have a noticeable impact on your people, company, or society? Is this decision time sensitive? If the answer is "yes" or "maybe," move up to the second rung.
Rung #2: Give yourself time to focus on the decision. Remove distractions and allow yourself five minutes to focus solely on the decision you need to make.
Rung #3: Write down all options and outcomes. Define each option in one sentence, keeping it to facts and verified observations. Next to each option, write a single sentence describing the likely outcome.
Rung #4: Highlight the most desirable options and outcomes. Embrace the decision that corresponds to the best possible outcome.
While simplistic, this exercise trains your mind to focus on the details and facts of your decisions objectively, so that you're not swayed by emotions. Embrace this exercise, and you’ll quickly find yourself climbing the "ladder rule" in your head without needing to write anything down.
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First published in our May 2022 IT Radix Resource newsletter