As you might know I recently launched my brand new course Personal Productivity Techniques and Habits.
This was one of the topics I considered including, since being stuck on decisions will slow down our productivity significantly. But in the end I decided to make it a free video available to everyone instead. So, here it is, enjoy!
Even the everyday decisions in our lives can sometimes have us stumped.
Stuff like, “should I go out tonight?” “Should I ask my crush out to dinner?” “Should I get TJ’s new productivity course?”
Often when we get stuck on these kinds of decisions it’s because we’ve created a conflict in our mind between what we know we should do – and what we might want to do. (Though there can be other reason for this issue, of course.)
But here’s the good news.
Whatever the actual reason is, there’s a real easy way to short-circuit this problem. All we have to do is change out the words “should I” with “will it benefit me?”
So we ask, “will it benefit me to go out tonight?” - “Will it benefit me to ask my crush out?” - “Will TJ’s new course benefit me?”
And when we do, we almost always get one out of four different answers. We either get a "yes", a "no", an "I don’t know", or a "yes-and-no".
Now the two first ones should be simple enough. If the answer is yes or no – you now have your answer to whether you should or not.
But the other two can seem slightly more tricky, so let me make them simple.
If the answer is that we don’t know whether or not it will benefit us, it’s usually because we don’t know what the result of the decision will be.
Like if we’re, for example, thinking about inviting our crush out for a date, and have no idea whether they’ll say yes or no.
In that case, all we have to do is weigh each option against each other.
Is the potential reward we’ll get if they say yes worth risking the no?
If they say yes we might end up in a relationship with them. If they say no, we’ll know that they might not be interested. Which might be disappointing, but at least it will let us move on.
As another example, if the decision we’re trying to make is about signing up for a course, a beneficial yes would mean that signing up was worth it.
And if it turns out that the course isn’t helpful, we can usually get a refund. So all we have to decide is if the potential yes is worth the time we’ll spend figuring out if it will benefit us or not.
In some cases, though, it might be clear to us that the decision will benefit us in some ways, but not in others.
Like if we’re trying to decide whether to go out with our friends on a Thursday night.
The benefit might be that we get to have some fun, relax, and spend time with our friends. But the negative aspect of it might be that we’ll spend money that we should be saving. Or that we’ll be tired at work the next day.
In that case, a second question can help us out.
And it’s simply: “Which is more important to me between the benefit and the drawback?”
In other words, is it more important to me to spend time with my friends tonight, or to be rested at work tomorrow?
Once we move away from thinking about what we want to do, and instead focus on what’s most important to us, we tend to find our answers more easily.
All that being said, please keep two things in mind.
Firstly, I’m primarily talking about the smaller, everyday decisions here.
Feel free to play with this technique for your bigger, life-changing decisions too. But take your time with those and make sure you’ve considered them from all the important angles.
Secondly, keep in mind that there can be several levels to what will benefit you.
It might, for example, benefit you financially to steal your friend’s wallet. But morally, socially, and in many other ways it probably won’t. So please make sure you’re acting in integrity when you answer these questions.
Now, will it benefit you to check out my new productivity course? ;)
Hi, I'm TJ Guttormsen.
Since 2009 I’ve coached clients ranging from Olympic gold medalists and billionaires, to people who simply want more out life.
I’ve done over 100 national media appearances, published books, and created online courses that have earned several “Highest Rated” titles from their 11 000+ members.
Today I coach clients from all over the world, and teach seminars for business and events from my home in Las Vegas.
Come join me in my Facebook group, follow my Instagram, or subscribe to my YouTube channel for fresh content on a regular basis.