How to Make Better Decisions

You read a lot about productivity out there.

  • “50 Producivity Hacks that will Change Your Life”
  • “The 13 Things Every Successful CEO Does”
  • “17 Reasons Why Your Routine Sucks”

Most of these content-farm articles are just rehashing the same crap. On the other hand, there are people who go very deep on a topic, and risk overcomplicating things (ahem… someone like me!).

Remember though, productivity is just about three things:

  1. Decide on what you want.
  2. Decide on what you need to do to get it.
  3. Do it.

Of course, this is very simple, but it’s not easy. For making decisions, we’re constantly fighting the way our brains are wired. It seems that for most decisions we face in our modern lives, our brains are built to focus on the wrong things.

Thankfully, we are “Predictably Irrational”, as Dan Ariely so eloquently put it. And we can dig into the reasons we make poor decisions, and learn how to make better ones.

Decisive

My favorite kind of books are written by “synthesizers”. People who attack a subject from all angles, trawling data and research and personal experiences, and collecting it into a cohesive framework for you to use. “Good to Great” is one example of this. My favorite team of synthesizers is Chip and Dan Heath.

My well-worn copy of "Decisive". Whenever I have the discipline to stick to the process, the payoff is enormous.
My well-worn copy of “Decisive”. Whenever I have the discipline to stick to the process, the payoff is enormous.

 

Their book “Decisive” is one of my all-time most recommended. Since the framework breaks down neatly into sections and lists of techniques, I’ve found myself referring often to the book. But, of course, there’s another way to organize structured information: Gingko Trees!

Here is my Gingko tree summary of Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work.

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