If you read my blog, chances are you are involved in a business of some sort. Unfortunately, most business people get caught up in the daily grind of overworking and have not enough time to make really good decisions. Warren Buffet is much wiser than this and works only 2 hours a day. That way he has plenty of time for last minute meetings, emergencies, and engaging in deeper thought about the decisions that really matter. But, enough about Warren, let’s talk about you. What techniques can you use to make amazing decisions?
(1) Work Less
Most people work too much. As a business person, you make more if you produce more of value. But, a lot of the tasks you engage in are what I call “busy-work.” Many experts recommend finding a way to outsource your busy work to a younger employee or to someone else. That way your time will be freed up for more important tasks and decision making. As a manager or executive, your primary function is as a decision maker or a lead at important meetings and not to do menial tasks.
(2) Sleep More
What? This blog is crazy. What type if idiot is telling me to work less and sleep more? Me! If you are stressed out all the time running around like a rat on a rotary, you will be in a crazy state of mind. If you want to make good decisions you need to be well rested and in good physical shape.
(3) Eat Healthy Food; Diet Matters More Than You Think.
I recommend a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables (I bet you’ve heard that before) and regular exercise. Fruits nourish the body with lots of fiber and vitamins that you need for keeping calm and energetic. Additionally, they don’t have the same level of toxins that meats and processed foods have. Fruits are easy to digest too and easy on the liver and kidneys. Too much meat can make you feel heavy and sluggish! Your carbohydrates are best gotten from brown rice and oats which have many health benefits you can read about on the internet! Vegetables have fiber and minerals which your body desperately needs. Additionally, fresh or open-net salmon is high in omegas which is essential for your eyes and your circulation among other benefits. The details of your diet are up to you, but in most countries, the national diet is very unhealthy!
(4) Brainstorm Before Analyzing
Most bad decisions are made in a hurry. Other times, bad decisions are made with insufficient data. If you are new to making particular types of decisions, you won’t know how much information is necessary to make a good decision, and you will undoubtedly make a bad decision. If you are making a hiring decision, you need to compare dozens of qualified applicants before making up your mind. If you compare only three and pick from them, your pick is not likely to be optimal, and then when they quit you will be high and dry.
(5) Analyze Yourself & Then With Another Business Person
I prefer to think up multiple methods and variations for methods of solving a business problem. After I think of all of those methods, I think them over for myself, taking notes on the benefits and downfalls of each system. I will often talk each idea over with several people who are good business thinkers as well. These talks can take over an hour at times, so be disciplined about this painstaking but critical process. A business process may involve multiple steps. Getting those steps in the correct order may not be easy. You need to figure out what can go wrong if a particular step is in a particular order for example.
(6) Create a Board of Mentors
It is difficult to schedule time with others to compare business ideas. However, the input of others could be quite valuable. If you are making a business decision that could be worth $50,000 in long term extra income, how much time should you put into that decision? In my opinion, a decision of that caliber could take months of refinement and perhaps more than 20 hours. Plan on spending that type of time with your board of handpicked advisors or consultants.
(7) Enjoy Nature
Go hiking, relax at the beach, and enjoy nature in all types of places. Nature is the best place to get your body balanced, get in shape, and reduce your stress. People who are stressed out cannot focus on deeper decision making activities. They will overlook critical factors and impatiently jump to conclusions. In fact, you might be better off having your most serious meetings at the beach after sunset — I kid you not!
(8) Refine your Decisions
In my experience, my best decisions were not made on the first attempt. It took me years to figure out what made my business tick, and even more years to implement optimal policies. Your first big decision on a particular business matter such as hiring, pricing, business process optimization, etc. will most likely be wrong. But, don’t cry! Decision making is hard, and requires refinement. As you gain more information and experience, refinements in your processes, pricing, interviewing and hiring analytics and processes will ensue! Whatever business decision you make, make it with the intention that more brainstorming, more analysis, and more discussions will need to happen on a regular basis until you have gotten things to the point where they don’t seem to be able to get any better!
(9)Use Alcohol With Care
Too much alcohol will dull your thinking. If you are going to make critical decisions, you need a clear head. On the other hand, a glass of red wine every day will relax you, and is considered to be healthy for your heart, reduces stress, and can help you live longer according to some researchers. The right amount and the right type of alcohol makes the difference.
(10) Think Outside the “Box-fice” & Bump Into People More
Most people cannot think outside the box. Your office is like a box and is good for cranking out routine work. However, if you need to think strategically, your office might not be the best place. Many people have their best thoughts while dropping in on a friend, bumping into someone at lunch, or driving on a road near the beach. Google understands this and they engineer their buildings to have more common spaces where people will bump into each other and have stimulating conversations about innovations and other topics. You need to mold your life to integrate this Google concept of bumping into people. Try to have more unpredictable activities, do unusual things, and talk to a wider circle of people about business issues. If you limit the people you talk with to a narrow circle of people, your thoughts and decision making will reflect that narrowness. But, if you expose yourself to new people (preferably thoughtful people,) as well as reading books by great thinkers, your thinking will evolve.
(11) Evolve Your Mind Over Time
Your current mental state might be fine, but to make even better business decisions next year or next week, you need to widen and refine the way you think. Reading books about great business people, widening your social circle, and thinking more deeply and intricately about business decisions will help your brain to become more adept at handling complicated issues. If you make it your life mission to become refined at making great decisions, you will evolve into that state. But, if you are constantly bogged down with busy work, stress, eat improperly and don’t go to the beach enough — you will just be another scatterbrain!
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