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Hack to simplify decision making

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One of my biggest learnings last year, came from a podcast where the famed author Jim Collins recalled the most important lesson he learned from legendary Peter Drucker during a personal meeting. Peter Drucker said, “Make that one important decision that eliminates hundreds of smaller decisions”.

What does that mean?

We tend to make many decisions that look different but if we closely observe, they are part of the same category. By clubbing the decisions together, and making one blanket rule you eliminate the need for making hundreds of smaller decisions.

Let’s say you always have this urge to access emails and check if anything important has come in, and you end up checking emails every 30 mins. Here you can make a macro decision to check emails once every 3 hours or 4 hours depending on what suits you. Once you make that decision, it becomes a blanket rule. Next time you have an urge to check your email, you remind yourself of this rule and it helps you develop a routine. Slowly this becomes a habit.

Similarly, if you can make a higher-level decision regarding which client order to accept that would eliminate many decisions which would have come your way daily. We have a rule that we only take up orders which cross the threshold x% margins unless its a strategic client. This decision helps our team get clarity on whom to do business with. They don’t need to check again each time with their seniors. Saves time and improves productivity.

Personally, for me, I have a blanket rule that I would spend time developing a strategy presentation for a prospective client only when I feel that this would be beneficial for our company even if we don’t get this project. This way, my time is secured and I don’t regret if we end up not winning the account since we learned something anyway. So now its easy for me when a new projects comes my way and I need to decide what to do. I dont let external factors like time available on hand influence decision making.

Do make a list of few higher level decisions that you can in your personal and professional life which helps you

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Stevan Noronha

Founder and Chief of Strategy - FOXBOX Retail

I’m an entrepreneur who’s super passionate about life and all it has to offer. Through this blog, I intend to share experiences along my entrepreneurial journey, travel, finance and life in general.This blog is a collection of experiences and learnings that I want to share .

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