You have 168 hours in a week and 52 weeks in a year. That’s 8 736 hours. What you do with each hour is your decision. You can invest that hour, or you can squander it, believing you have many more hours in which to make a better decision later.
If you eat three meals a day, that is 1 095 decisions. I just watched the man in seat 3C drink three screwdrivers and wash them down with a tiny bottle of Kahlua and a coffee. Separately. It’s 7:45 in the morning, and we are flying from Omaha to Atlanta. His physical, mental, and emotional state is radically different, and I wonder what the rest of his day will be like.
Success and productivity are the result of 1 000s of tiny decisions well or poorly made.
One way to improve your decisions is to make them in advance. If you plan your days and weeks, you reduce the likelihood of making poor decisions, like sitting in reactive mode, waiting for the world to act on you. Auditing your projects and commitments to determine what work is most important before your work week even starts improves the odds that the right work gets done. Blocking time in your calendar and treating that work like you would a commitment you made to another person will prevent poor decisions.
Related: Are You A Negative Leader?
Routines, or what I call disciplines, can help you improve your results by eliminating choices altogether. If you go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, you eliminate decisions. If you eat the same foods repeatedly, that discipline removes decisions and allows for better choices.
If you want a result you are not producing now, the decisions you make are the difference between the outcomes you are producing and the outcomes you want. To change those results, you would have to make different decisions, most likely many small, seemingly meaningless decisions. Those small decisions determine your trajectory — and your destination.
- What are the small decisions you make every day that prevent you from producing the results you want or need now?
- What disciplines or routines can you put in place that eliminate the risk of bad decisions and ensure you make good choices?