If you’re someone with so much to do where you don’t know where to start, creating a list can be somewhat therapeutic. Just the act of writing something down can help you feel better about your day. This is a good practice to get into as it allows you to start prioritising what is important – the things you absolutely must get done, over other things are also in need of your attention.
When something is urgent, it is usually easier and quicker to get done as there will be an instant payoff upon completion. You may feel less stressed after you complete a task which you deem to be urgent because you may feel like you have achieved something.
Things that are important, are usually harder to get around to, usually because they come with a cost attached (usually time or money). This comes with the fear of “what happens if”, we tend to put these things on the backburner until they become urgent.
Most of the time we act only because we must, it gets to a point where making a decision on something (any decision) is better than no decision at all. This is a pattern that most of us are trapped in, however, we can challenge this thinking by going with a more logical approach as appose to an emotional one.
We need to acknowledge the emotional content of decision making. Decisions involve the assessment of risk… what is the cost of what I am trying to achieve? vs. what is the potential benefit of the outcome.
Imagine you are at the top of a hill, the climb up was thrilling and you’re excited about sky lining back down. You now have two options.
You can either, go down the left exit; which is steep and fast, though you will be back at the base more quickly. This journey will test you beyond all limits and it will be the most electrifying thing you have ever done, it will also give you the best views of the city, however, it also carries the risk that you may potentially fall.
Or you could take the right exit, which is shallow and winding, it would lead you through a forest and the route would take you around 25 minutes, though there is no danger and if you fall it would be soft so you have no threat of being hurt.
Which route would you take?
Your attitude to risk will make this decision for you, when you leave the decision making until it becomes urgent, you are creating these two scenarios in your own mind. Dealing with the most important issues first gives yourself the time to build and gather the skills needed to take the left route and receive a much bigger payoff.
When we feel like we need “to do” or act on something it creates anxiety and can be somewhat overwhelming, being successful in whatever you do it requires you to take action, and no just any action, but the specific actions that will get you the results that you want.
Decisions should not be made purely based on emotion, but you need to also consider your own emotions and the people you work with in order to attain the results you truly desire.
If you would like to learn more about risk management, have a look at our course here https://www.londontfe.com/course/leadership-and-management/Risk-and-Crisis-Management/8