If you want to make decisions effectively, do them quick.
Is it that easy? Yes, it is.
Let’s look at things this way:
You can either make a decision immediately, or wait in indecision.
If you wait a long time before you decide, during all that time you did nothing.
If you make a decision, even a wrong one, you’re already knowing what works and what doesn’t.
It’s better to take a bad step than a no-step.
Most people think the need ALL the information in order to make a decision.
Decisions aren’t about who has more information. They’re about who uses their information better.
If you make a decision, you can always calibrate later. But the thing is:
If you haven’t made a decision yet, you’ll get more information and you’ll calibrate a plan that’s not field-tested.
If you have made your decision, you can calibrate what you’re currently doing.
Imagine you have to develop a strategy for your team to win a war.
You can either A) Attack quickly B) Plan an attack.
In a first scenario, you decided immediately. You attack quickly. In the meanwhile, you receive weather reports. You’re on the field, you know where your soldiers are, the spots that will be affected by the weather change, and calibrate your plan.
In a second scenario, you haven’t decided. In the meanwhile, you receive the weather reports. You will think “if we choose to attack quickly, we might have to change soldiers from this zone to this one, or from that one to that one”.
When you’ve decided already, you’re only following your direction. When you haven’t decided, you’re trying to follow all and not following any.
Note, this has nothing to do with having an open mind. You consider all directions in both scenarios. But you only follow one.
If you decide, you know all options and choose one.
If you don’t decide, you know all options and try to choose all, and end up choosing none.
Forget well-thought plans. Forget strategies.
Don’t make a strategy. Develop one once you’re in the field.
This applies to everything. Starting a project? Don’t try and plan all the details. Start working right now and details show up as they are needed.
Studying for an exam? Don’t try and schedule and plan your study in advance. Start studying immediately, and then make small changes and calibrate.
And yes, you might have to switch plans. If you make the wrong decision, what gives? You discard it, and decide on a different direction. The difference is:
Deciding the first time isn’t rigorous because you don’t know what’s good or bad in each side. You only know in theory.
Deciding after you’ve left your current decision is rigorous. You know exactly what didn’t work and why you’re changing directions.
In sum: Decide quickly, and if you need to switch, switch quickly. Never let yourself fall into the trap of paralysis by analysis.
Another specific example:
Two people have to race through a lap. They have two cars available: Car 1 and Car 2. We have person A and B.
Person A spends 3 hours thinking about why Car 1 might be better than Car 2, and this and that, theorizing. After 3 hours he chooses Car 1.
Person B took Car 1 immediately and went for a test-drive. After 10 minutes we knew due to the tight turns throughout the track, Car 1 has horrible. So he ditched it and chose Car 2. This took 20 minutes.
Due to real-world experience Person B took the right choice. He actually took the wrong choice but corrected it.
Because A never took a choice, he could never change it, so he’s stuck to choosing by ignorance (or theoretical previsions, which are not that different).
We can even add a little twist if you want.
Person B test-drove Car 2, for more 20 minutes, and realized due to its limited top speed, he did worse times in all of the straight segments of the track. And this was actually even worse than the limitations of Car 1. So he chose Car 1 again.
Person A was still theorizing by that time, but he chose Car 1 too.
Now, are these people equal? Never.
Person A made the right choice, but he doesn’t know why it’s the right choice. He might have planned or thought about it, but does he know why it works in the real world? Nope.
Person B made the same choice, but it’s because he knows exactly what is right and wrong with each choice.
So, in sum. Decide quickly, hang to your decision to infinity. If you can, you’re successful. If you can’t, switch to a new decision and hang to it to infinity.
Repeat until successful.
It’s so simple yet so effective.
The word momentum was invented for a reason. We might have found it today.
So, in sum, the lession is:
Don’t think about acting before you actually act.
Act first, think later.
One final note: Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying just “act first”. I’m saying “act first, think later”. You do have to think and develop a strategy.
But you do it AFTER you know what the field is, who your opponents are, what are your strengths and weaknesses. It’s useless to think in advance.
Don’t invent facts based on thoughts. Invent thoughts based on facts.
Hope you liked the message :)