How to Make Decisions Quickly: Decide When You’ll Decide


Today’s big idea is that one way to avoid overthinking or ignoring some of the things that you need to decide is to give yourself a deadline. In other words, some times you need to decide WHEN you’re going to decide. 

Of course, there are some big decisions that require a lot of thinking and take a long time to really figure out–I’ll talk about how to make those bigger picture choices tomorrow– but the majority of decisions aren’t super high stakes, and therefore, they don’t really don’t require a ton of thought. 

Yet it’s tempting to feel like you’re too busy to make a decision, or to overthink your possibilities and to draw out how long it takes to make your choice. Over time, having a bunch of unmade decisions can lead to feeling overwhelmed and burned out.

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There is a principle known as Parkinson’s law

Which states that any project will expand or contract based on how much time you have to complete that project. So if you don’t have a timeframe of when you need to make a decision, chances are you’ll drag out the decision-making process.

Which means that if you want to make a decision more efficiently, giving yourself a deadline can help make a choice and move on with your life. It gives you a sense of urgency, and an incentive for making a decision. It can also relieve you from the subtle torture of having an open loop, and from overthinking.. 

Daily Tiny Assignment

Your tiny assignment is to think of some decisions you’ve been ignoring, and decide when you’re going to make a decision on the week, so that you can feel some relief sooner rather than later. 

Once you’ve chosen your deadlines, put them in your calendar, set a reminder, or write them on a post-it note that you stick to your computer monitor so that you don’t forget what those deadlines are. 

It also helps to tell someone else what about your decision deadline

Because it will make it more real and help you get some accountability.

I hope you’ll get to experience the good side of Parkinson’s law, and feel how much of a relief it is to set some parameters that help make your decision-making process less time consuming and that free up your energy for other things. 

And I hope you’ll come back tomorrow, when I’m talking about how to feel better about those big decisions that feel like they’re taking too long. 


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