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Make Less Decisions

Every decision you make saps a little bit of energy from your body.

Say you’re trying to avoid donuts. If the first thing you see when you wake up is a donut, it’s pretty easy to make the decision to not eat the donut. But by mid-morning when you’ve decided what to wear, what to eat for breakfast, which way to go to work, what to give your staff, what to say in your meeting, and whether or not to return you accountant’s call, it’s very easy to eat that donut.

The secret is to make the decision ahead of time when there’s no willpower involved.

So what’s this got to do with work? We’re all trying to be more productive. When we say ‘focus your priorities’ we know it’s hard. When you have a bit of time to work on your priorities there’s too many distractions – Facebook, email, phone calls etc. When you’ve made decisions all day your deciding-muscles are tired, and it’s easy to give in to short-term quick-win work.

That’s why putting your priorities in your calendar like I do ahead of time works. Look at your calendar three weeks from now … I’ll bet there’s very little on it. Allocate some time on your priorities. Decide exactly what you’re going to do in that time NOW. When it comes to it, you already would have made the decision and it’s much easier to avoid distractions.

Posted by Andrew, 14/5/12