Organizing all about evaluating your choices, options, and resources, and defining a course of action to reach a desired outcome. The same is true of decision making. And, the more you practice, the better you get at recognizing choices, options, and resources, and snatching up over-looked opportunities in every area of your life.
Each of us makes hundreds of decision every day, but that doesn't necessarily mean that we are good at it. In fact, many of those daily decisions are made without much thought or attention.
The answer is simple. Practice decision making by organizing a small space. A drawer, a cabinet, or a desktop are all full of decision making opportunities and great places to start. These small projects involve critical thinking exercises that are foundational to other decision-making skills.
Compare basic organizing steps to decision-making steps and you'll see what I mean.
Organizing: The first step in organizing is defining the project. Only the facts. It's not necessary to know why the drawer is messy and unorganized or who stuffed the cabinet full of plastic to-go coffee mugs, but the fact is it's become a nuisance and it needs to be addressed.
Decision making: The first step in decision making is of course, defining the decision. Only the facts. Sounds simple enough. However, the more complicated the decision, the more facets there are to consider. Take, for example, dealing with family matters, where a variety of personalities are involved. Identify the heart and soul of the decision at hand, and deal with that, not the interpretations or dramas.
Organizing: Ordering your environment to suit your life is the reason for organizing, and prioritizing plays a critical role in the organizing process. Identifying what is important to you is how you end up with a space that is perfectly aligned with your lifestyle. It's all about getting what you want out of your resources.
Decision making: A critical step in the process is identifying what is important to you and that means prioritizing all of the information, resources, and choices available. Use a Mind Map, or simplified decision tree, and analyze possible outcomes by writing them down. Identifying your priorities will keep you on track and help you maintain emotional equilibrium.
Organizing: One of the steps in the organizing process is considering how you feel before you start the project, and how you want to feel after you finish the project. Connecting your emotions with the end result through visualization it is a critical part of completing an organizing project.
Decision making: Much in the same way as organizing, after you have analyzed the information and decided how to achieve the best possible outcome, visualize it. Quiet your mind and play out the scenario in your mind. Imagine how you will feel, and how your life will change because of it.
Both organizing and decision making require you to recognize how you feel about the choices before you, and to chart a course to manage them by visualizing the outcome. Recognizing your emotions can help you process unexpected interruptions or developments along the way.
Organizing: At the heart of the organizing process is the essential "keep, toss, or donate" process. Pick up an item and choose which action to take within 3 seconds. Pick up the next item and do it again. Sounds simple, but in reality it is a very tiring process. Damaged or unused items are easily moved to the "toss" pile, but other items hold significant emotional attachments for the owner which require him/her to evaluate her emotions and the ordinary value of the item concurrently within those same 3 seconds.
Decision-making: Decision making is much the same way. Usually we're dealing with simple choices, but under pressure, or with greater consequences, making a decision as discomforting as letting go of a precious keepsake that isn't worth its weight in pennies.
Organizing requires that you make a plan, collect information, prioritize, and follow a series of logical steps to have beautifully ordered spaces around you.
Decision making requires that you make a plan, collect information, prioritize, and follow a series of logical steps to have a beautifully ordered life around you.
Organizing is decision making in motion. Practice it. Your living spaces and your mind will reap the benefits.
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