Make Less Decisions

One of my themes for this year is 'make less decisions'. Scientists say that every decision you make saps a little bit of energy from your body. Say you're trying to avoid donuts. If the first thing you see when you wake is a donut, then it's pretty easy to make the decision not to eat the donut. But by the time mid-morning comes, and you've made decisions about what to wear, what to eat for breakfast, what route to go to work, what work to do and when to do it, and whether you're going to return your accountant's call, avoiding the donut becomes harder. And by mid-afternoon - well, we've all been caught by the combination of the 4pm slump and available donuts (I think we all have anyway, it might just be me!).

The secret, they say, is to make the decisions ahead of time, when you're not in the situation where you have to make the decision. So instead of deciding at 3.55pm whether to have the donut or not, you decide Sunday night 'this week, I'm not eating donuts'. When you get presented with one at 4pm on Thursday, there's no willpower involved, you already made the decision.

So, what's this got to do with work? We're all trying to be more productive and to do less of the things which we're not supposed to be doing. When we say 'focus on your priorities', we know that it's hard. When you have some free time, which you could use on your priorities, there's all sorts of other things calling to you - email, phone calls, Facebook. And, because you've made decisions all day, your deciding muscles are tired, and it's easy to give in to short term, quick win work.

That's why putting your priorities on your calendar ahead of time works. Look at your calendar three weeks from now. We'll bet there's very little on it. Allocate some time to your priorities - decide exactly what you're going to in that time NOW. When it comes to it, you'll have already made the decision, and it'll be much easier to avoid the distractions.

Individual Licenses

We had a query to our customer service email ([email protected]) this week, that made us realize that perhaps not everyone understands the Manager Tools and Career Tools licenses.

Manager Tools and Career Tools each have an Individual License product. That gets you the shownotes and slides for each show in the respective podcast, Things I Think I Think, Mark's weekly email on management, member conference calls, early conference announcements, and access to a special customer service address for your queries. In addition, with the Manager Tools license, you get access to the Interview Creation Tool - making the manager's most important task, hiring, as easy as it can be.

An annual individual license for one podcast is $165 and you can upgrade to both for $265 - a $65 saving. If you'd prefer to pay monthly, Manager Tools is $15/month and if you upgrade to include Career Tools we give you 3 months free. To purchase now, click here.

Please Forward This Newsletter

Those of you who have individual licenses know that use of that content is only for that particular member. This newsletter is not licensed content, and we'd love for you to forward it to anyone who would find it interesting and useful. You just need to click the link at the bottom of the page.

If someone forwarded it to you, and you'd like your own copy in future, become a Manager Tools member here. It's free!

no. 72 | 2 April 2012

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