We make decisions from the minute we wake up until the minute we go to bed. Various sources estimate that the average adult makes around 35,000 conscious decisions each day (in contrast to a child who makes around 3,000). This number may sound crazy to you, but in fact, according to researchers at Cornell University, we make nearly 227 decisions each day on just food alone!
In the past few years, an increasing amount of research has emerged related to the limits of our decision-making abilities. Scientists have discovered that a person’s decision-making power is a depletable resource. Basically, the quality of our decisions begins to erode during the course of a typical day, as our fixed amount of willpower is used up.
How can we use this knowledge to make good decisions on the job?
- Recognize that the right choice may not always be the easy choice.
- Recognize that we all need help making decisions at times. Reach out to the people that you trust.
- “Plan the work, work the plan.” Minimize the number of decisions made by planning your work early in the day, making sure everyone understands that plan, and finally, executing the plan.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate. Good decisions result from good information, and good information results from good communication.
Remember, we must make decisions or risk the problems that come along with indecision. According to Dr. Michael Haggstrom, noted clinical counselor and psychotherapist, “Indecision is the enemy to progress. Not saying yes to one possibility is like saying no to all of them.” Most of us do not have the luxury of indecision in our lives or jobs, so making appropriate decisions throughout our days is a necessity.
My resolution this New Year is to pinpoint a few small things each day that will save me time and/or resources, and make them part of my daily decision-making process and personal culture. In our work environment, if everyone at Faith Technologies saved a mere five minutes per day via good decision making, over the course of one year this would add up to over 50,000 hours! This really shows that the little things do add up.
Join me and commit to “Saving 5” in 2017.
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