Making the right decision

pharrell williams fast company

I’m not the most decisive of people.

While reading Fast Company‘s “Secrets of the Most Productive People” though, I started to notice a pattern. Many profiles included answers such as, “I eat the same thing every day,” or “I don’t have a million clothing items to choose from.” These people argue everyone only has a finite amount of decision processing power each day, so they limit choices in other areas of their lives to save it for the ones that truly matter for supporting their family, coworkers and business.

So maybe it’s not that I’m indecisive…maybe it’s just because I’m making so many important decisions every day (ha) that I get too overwhelmed to place my drink order within a waiter’s first through third visits. (But seriously, how am I supposed to choose between beer, wine or cocktails I know I love or risking it all on a new one I might not like as much?? Sigh.)

Pharrell Williams said visionaries like Vogue’s Anna Wintour “understand instinctively how to protect creativity within a business. ‘They are 100% decisive. Snap, no. Snap, yes.'”

I would like someone to describe me as 100% decisive. I used to think I just needed to get better at choosing an option right off the bat and letting the chips fall where they may….but that is only half the equation. What makes these people “visionary” isn’t that they make decisions quickly, but that they make the right decisions quickly.

How do we (I) get better at successful snap decision-making? I don’t have all the answers, but here are some ideas:

1. Fully know yourself / brand / goals to better recognize what fits or not

2. Have a plan to minimize distractions

3. Surround yourself with people who are smart, skilled and trustworthy

4. Learn from decisions that didn’t work out as anticipated

This article made me realize the importance of #2 and evaluate how I can plan or streamline to improve my own day to day. I function much more efficiently during the week when I know what I’m going to eat, for example, rather than looking up at noon with a grumbling stomach, needing food now, researching the unimpressive surrounding options, then settling on a Whole Foods field trip yet again.

It’s also time for another closet purging. Really, it’s crazy how many clothes (read: dresses; my roommate’s parents refer to me as “the girl who never wears pants”) I own, despite bags and bags of giveaways in the last year and a half. Plato’s Closet is my ally in the never-ending effort to own less stuff, and since my closet seems to regenerate like Halloween’s Michael Myers or those birthday candles that just don’t blow out, it looks like I’ll be making another trip soon.

I have a feeling my bank account is also going to appreciate this added foresight.