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How to Form the Decisiveness Habit : zen habits

The costs of indecisiveness

  • Not taking action can cost you an opportunity, or cost money and time as you delay.
  • People waiting for you to make a decision can get frustrated.
  • You can feel stress about your indecisiveness, and stress about how you’re making people wait.

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How to Form the Decisiveness Habit : zen habits

How to Form the Decisiveness Habit : zen habits

https://zenhabits.net/decisive/

zenhabits.net

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Key Ideas

The costs of indecisiveness

  • Not taking action can cost you an opportunity, or cost money and time as you delay.
  • People waiting for you to make a decision can get frustrated.
  • You can feel stress about your indecisiveness, and stress about how you’re making people wait.

How we deal with uncertainty

These are some of the common ways we habitually deal with the uncertainty of a decision. But none of them solve the problem for us:

  • Doing some research. 
  • Writing out a pros and cons list.
  • Asking a bunch of people about their opinion.
  • Putting off the decision.

We are uncertain about

  • What the best choice might be.
  • Whether there will be negative consequences of the choice.
  • Whether we’ll look dumb to others if we make the wrong choice.
  • Whether we’ll feel dumb, or ripped off, and regret it for years to come.
  • Whether we’ll be OK if we make the wrong choice.

Creating a new set of habits

... that that will lead to greater decisiveness:

  • Recognize that you’re feeling uncertainty.
  • Deal with the uncertainty with curiosity.
  • Get the info & evaluate as best you can.
  • Just dive in.
  • Don’t look back — deal with what comes up.
  • See that you’re OK and let go of worry.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Life doesn’t happen to us; we are an active participant. We get out of life what we choose.”
Mike Whitaker
All Decisions Are Not Created Equal

  • Small decisions: Impact you for a day, such as what you wear and what you eat.
  • Medium decisions: Impact your life for a year or so, such as deciding to go back to school or take on a roommate.
  • Big decisions: These are made once or twice a year, and successful people use their goals to navigate to the right choice.

Decision making using goals

Successful people have 4 strategies that help them clearly define what they want:

  • They keep 5 prime goals and stay focused on them.
  • They identify the top priority and give it favorable treatment when making decisions.
  • They look for goal and decision overlap, treating this decision with more care.
  • They appreciate momentum, identifying the benefits of continuing to move in the right direction.

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Being Mediocre

Most of us are in the 'mediocre' zone, making a living and trying to do our best in confining circumstances. We try to work, raise a family, and try to be happy.

Aiming to reach towards t...

Procrastination

Procrastination is generally looked down upon and thought of as laziness, but it is your body telling you that you need to back off and think about what you are doing. 

You should try and figure out why you are procrastinating, as it can be a symptom of something broken in your life.

Zero-Tasking

We all multitask at some point or the other, some of us more than others. Our attention and intelligence are deviated and substracted during multi-tasking.

Single-tasking is better than multi-tasking, as focusing completely on one thing at any given time is optimal. Even better is to move into silence and nothingness by doing zero-tasking. The more we zero-task (another name for mindfulness or meditation), the more we progress into creativity and excellence.

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The Real Career Landscape
The Real Career Landscape
If you can figure out how to get a reasonably accurate picture of the real career landscape out there, you have a massive edge over everyone else, most of whom will be using outdated convention...
The career pitfall
Careers used to be kind of like a 40-year tunnel. You picked your tunnel, and once you were in, that was that. You worked in that profession for 40 years or so before the tunnel spit you out on the other side into your retirement.

Today’s career landscape isn’t a lineup of tunnels, it’s a massive, impossibly complex, rapidly changing science laboratory. 

Why Career-path-carving is important.

Time. A typical career will take up somewhere between 20% and 60% of your meaningful adult time.

Quality of Life. Your career has a major effect on all your non-career hours.

Impact. Whatever shape your career path ends up taking, the world will be altered by it.

Identity. We tell people about our careers by telling them what we are.

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Work on the right decision

The way you frame your decision at the outset can make all the difference. 

State your decision problems carefully, acknowledge their complexity and avoid unwarranted assumptions ...

Specify your objectives

A decision is a means to an endAsk yourself what you most want to accomplish and which of your interests, values, concerns, fears, and aspirations are most relevant to achieving your goal.

Decisions with multiple objectives cannot be resolved by focusing on any one objective.

Create imaginative alternatives

Your decision can be no better than your best alternative.

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Acknowledge biases

Think critically about your own mentality and what factors could contribute to a subjective decision: How much and how well do you know the other people involved with the decision? What past...

Pro and Con Lists

Take each option in your decision and make two lists for each; on one side, you'll have all the benefits of an option and on the other, you'll have all the downsides. 

Try to give your list a sense of scale. This can help you think through all the positives and negatives of all your options, and help you visualize the generally best candidate.

The outsider's perspective

Imagine your friend telling you the problem using only the most important information, and think about what you might say in return.

Imaging your own advice if you were counseling a friend on making the decision can help you understand what an outsider's perspective might be. 

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Conflicting emotions
Conflicting emotions

"How are you holding up?"
It is a common question being asked around the world these days. The answers may oscillate between optimism and pessimism throughout the day, making us not trust...

Opposites that are true simultaneously
  • We might be overreacting in some ways while underreacting in others.
  • Good and bad news can exist together. Some can look at the progress while others look at the setbacks.
  • You can be terrified about the short term and optimistic about the long term.
  • We can desire to stay informed while also wanting to ignore it.
  • You can be wrong about something you believed a few hours ago. Don't beat yourself up, understand that we're all figuring this out as we go.
  • You can have a plan while acknowledging you have no idea what the world will look like tomorrow.
Paradox of Choice
Paradox of Choice
It means that while increased choice allows us to achieve objectively better results, it also leads to greater anxiety, indecision, paralysis, and dissatisfaction.
Overthinking lowers your performance

Our working memory is what allows us to focus on the information we need to get things done at the moment we’re doing them. It is also in limited supply. You can think of it like our brain’s computer memory. Once it’s used up, nothing more can fit in.

When you overanalyze a situation, the repetitive thoughts, anxiety, and self-doubt decrease the amount of working memory you have available to complete challenging tasks, causing your productivity to plummet.

Overthinking kills your creativity

A recent Stanford study suggests that over-thinking not only impedes our ability to perform cognitive tasks but keeps us from reaching our creative potential as well.

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Mental States

It’s really important to monitor mental states. They will usually affect whether we do our exercise, eat healthy, binge watch TV shows, drink alcohol, eat junk food, or are open-hearted (or ...

Moving Into a Mental State
  1. Recognize that you’re in the wrong mental state. It’s not likely to lead to a calm focus. It will lead to you doing busywork or seeking distraction.
  2. Experiment to find a set of actions that can help you move into the right mental state. This is going to be different for each person, but with some experimentation, you can discover things that work for you.
Activities For A Better Mental State
  • Meditation
  • Go for a walk
  • Get up and move around
  • Talk to someone (if you’re worried about something)
  • Having a cup of tea
  • Taking a power nap
  • Having a cup of coffee (differs for each person)
  • Getting into a quiet, uncluttered environment
  • Turning off your wifi router
  • Using full-screen writing apps
  • Playing calming music
  • Reading an inspirational quote or article
  • Talking to someone (including a therapist, if needed)
  • Bringing playfulness to the task

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Like Vs. Lust

There are 2 kinds of pleasure: “liking” and “wanting.” “Liking” is a state of happiness and satisfaction, such as the gratification we get after a good meal. But “wanting” comes from the p...

Not Having Something Makes Us Want It More

We naturally want what we can’t have and being denied it makes us want it more. Suddenly depriving yourself of something may empower the cravings, so occasionally indulgences might good.

But from a drug addiction standpoint, a slip-up or two could have catastrophic effects. Instead of focusing on the fact you can’t have something, learn to reframe ways of thinking and choose to fill that space with new people and outside interests.

The “What The Hell” Effect

This means that once we’ve mis-stepped, we use it as justification to go all out. One bad decision can snowball into bigger consequences, making us temporarily lose sight of our ultimate goal.

Be aware of your actions and way of thinking. And if you make a mistake, dust yourself off, learn from your mistakes and move forward.

Daily choices
Each day, we make the same choice hundreds of times: whether to lie or tell the truth.

And we ignore the profound impact these seemingly inconsequential decisions have on our brain and our life.

Little Lies Can Cost You Money

[Researches Argo and Shiv] found that 85% of diners in restaurants admitted to telling white lies when their dining experiences were unsatisfactory (i.e., claiming all was well when it wasn't). The real interesting finding was that diners who told white lies to cover up their dissatisfactions were then likely to leave bigger tips than those who did not. 

Lies Tax Your Brain, Cause Stress and Harm Your Body

Consider the polygraph machine. It doesn't actually detect lies, specifically, but rather the signs of stress that accompany telling them. 

According to a study, those who were instructed on how to lie less reported improvements in their relationships, less trouble sleeping, less tension, fewer headaches, and fewer sore throats.

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