Decision making skills avoid procrastination. You only procrastinate, if you are unable to decide. Dumb, if somebody decides to procrastinate …
S T O P ! ! !
Prior to reading the following comments on decision making at time management, I want to point to an exceptional website about decision making. If you feel you should improve this skill, I strongly recommend to work through this rich site.
Time management can only be as effective as a decision making is
mastered well. Have a closer look at www.decision-making-confidence.com –
not only your time management will improve, even your way of life may
And now the concise version of decision making skills …
Which task next?
Decision making within time management only deals with solving the problem, which task you should start doing next, or how to find the right choice among a lot of tasks in your task or to do list when doing your daily job duties.
Making decisions is not yet solving problems but one – to choose the right option or alternative. Therefore, you first need means and methods of decision making and not tools for solving problems, although it has a similar appearance.
If you have to decide you are facing two or more alternatives among
you have to choose the best one, leaving the answer for: what is best
in my situation?Other than solving problems you don’t have to find or
create solutions yet.Choices of minor importance you eventually will
not even consciously feel as a decision process.
The most important guidelines for a task decision when working at
your to do list
Choosing a task is nothing else but prioritizing.
Zen of timing – an experiment
Imagine the method for task selection as mere skimming over your
task list and watching your feelings / intuition only.
Where do you stop reading over the list? Eventually quickly check again
and start doing the task you this moment thought is the most relevant
to do now. No elaborated decision making skills, no categorizing,
nothing else, but deciding in the very moment and acting.
I can hear the screaming of time management experts:
“What´s about important and urgent?”“You will only do, what is comfortable”“You will miss the right things”“You will procrastinate the ugly things”“You don’t plan your work, so you cannot work at your plan”… and much much more complaints and warnings.
What I counter:
It is ONE way to make things simpler,
you cannot loose,
What I admit:
That this is probably not YOUR way.
If you are open to alternative ways just try the above zen of timing method. Most important premise is the one and only to do list in a well-arranged form.
(A detailed description of this method is being prepared as a
However substantial decision makings will require careful selection of the method, if severe negative consequences are to be avoided.At dynamic time management this is normally not needed but even hindering, when you have to decide quickly.
Possibly, you heard about a decision making of people involved in highly risky jobs. Do you think, that a doctor at a terrible accident starts to use a decision matrix, or does prioritize or categorize – she quickly checks all knowledge, and it is documented - decides mostly from gut?
There exist numerous examples, where quick decisions have been the
best (naturally sometimes also the worst. However, elaborated
preparation of decisions doesn't protect you from wrong ones.)
Quick check before deciding to act on a task
Decision making skills as usual
If you have prepared the decision well by applying the above points and answering the above questions sufficiently, defining the best alternative most often is a logical consequence thereof.
Finally to process the decision, there will be to do something or put it into your to do list for action at a later, more suitable time (you “time managed" it, however, putting it into your tasklist should not be hidden procrastination!)
Watching the output will give you growing confidence into the way of your decision making, even if you did a wrong decision. Learn from your failures and improve next time.
Which method is adequate to find the right solution depends on the severity and reach of the output or consequences of your decision.Challenging decision making skills of the upper level use more or less elaborated methods, with adequate information as foundation.
I will give only a short overview over possible other methods how to
decide, in principle.
A small selection of methods
(titles only for this time, on some you will find good stuff at the SE´s. This list will be expanded with growing site and deeper discussion given)