6 August 2018

Time Management, mental health, making decisions, lawrence Jones mbe

Whenever I have a decision to make, you are guaranteed to find me in the Welsh mountains taking time out to clear my head and think things through.

There are few things as stressful as having to make a big decision. As a business leader – at every single stage of your journey – a decision you make can have huge consequences, both positive and negative, for your company and team. So how do you overcome that pressure of making a choice?

Everyone has their own way to help them come to a conclusion; here are a few of my tips.

Stop

The best way to make a bad decision is to rush into it. You can never make the most reasoned choice when you’re under pressure or rushed. It’s impossible! With that in mind, if you have a big decision to make, pause. Take a moment to think before you react. It works with every single decision you make, whether that’s a big business decision or which socks to wear!

Talk it out

It is all too easy to become wrapped up in your own head when it comes to making a choice. More often than not, the simplest way to come to an effective conclusion is to talk to someone. Find someone who has perhaps been in your shoes or who understands your situation, or just someone you trust. Speaking about the options out loud often clears the water, enabling you to come to your own conclusion.

Whenever I need to make decisions that I am not sure about, you’ll find me in the boardroom with as many people relevant to the issue as possible. Once I hear their points of view, we make a choice.

Go for a run

Often the best thoughts come when you stop thinking about them. Whether that’s when you’re about to go to sleep (typical) or while in the shower.

I often talk about the value of switching off – this is a prime example. When you allow your conscious brain to rest, to focus on counting steps or hitting a ball, it is absolutely remarkable how clear things suddenly become. You’ll find all of the great entrepreneurs have this switch-off time.

Come back to it

Have you ever had writers’ block? Making a tough choice can often feel quite similar. When this occurs, the best thing to do it put a pin in it and come back later. Go and do a different task, put your focus elsewhere, allow yourself time to process everything and remove the emotion from a decision. It is exceptionally easy to become overwhelmed with the stress, sadness or frustration of decision making, this only makes the process even harder! Stepping away to clear your head and get out of the spiral is invaluable.

Three Circles

For the really big decisions, Jim Collins’ advice always comes in helpful. The Good to Great author’s Three Circles theory is unrivalled when it comes to choosing your future path or direction to take your career or business.

The Three Circles – also called the Hedgehog Principle – highlight the three driving factors you have to consider when building a business. I believe that they are also incredibly helpful when making other big decisions too.

The theory goes that success lies in centre of three overlapping circles, each circle relating to a question. Answering yes to all of these three questions whenever choosing a new area to move into or business to start up is sign that you’re on the path to success:

  • Can I be the best at it?
  • Is it financially viable?
  • Am I passionate about it?

It’s extraordinary how many times I see people who tick two out of these three and still fail, you simply have to be passionate, be able to be the best and for it to make financial sense. It’s that simple.

How to you come to a conclusion? Share your thoughts and tips below.

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