Feeling indecisive contributes to disorganization and vice versa. To be organized is going to involve making some decisions, and making decisions is not always an easy thing to do - especially if your state of mind is fuddled by disorder.
Here is a very basic framework for decision making:-
- Firstly, recognize when a decision needs to be made. This is not as simple as it sounds. Sometimes we feel stuck and unable to get on with things, and it hasn’t even registered that the reason for the hold up is that a decision is required. To do this, we can ask ourselves, “what’s happening now? What am I doing?”
- Often when we find ourselves in a position where we think a decision is required, it is not. What may be required instead is to remember and recognize that we have already made a decision.
- When we find that there is an existing decision in place applicable to the current situation, we may just need to remember it and that’s all. But if there is persisting doubt, it’s necessary to ask ourselves if the decision was made correctly at the time. If it was, our energy needs to go to trusting our own judgement and following that decision.
- When a new decision does need to be made, because we haven’t already made one, or things have changed, we first need to make sure we’re in a good frame of mind for making a rational decision. It’s no good making a decision when we’re upset or feeling low. That has to be addressed first. If we decide things under the influence of negative emotions, the quality of the decision is likely to be lousy.
- Next we need to gather all the necessary information for making the decision. Just the facts Ma’am.
- Now we can identify our choices, our options, and weigh up the pros and cons, anticipate the outcome and so on.
- Ok, NOW we can make a decision. When we’ve done it, we can ask ourselves if it feels right, if we’ve reasonably considered everything we need to, if it is for the greatest good.
- Having made the decision in this way, we should be able to have confidence in it, trust in our own judgement and follow through and stick with it unless anything new comes up to warrant re-considering it.
So, to give a very specific example, say you’ve woken up in the morning, and you don’t get straight out of bed. Yes, this one is for me. What am I feeling? What am I doing? I’m warm and comfortable and I’d rather stay where I am. But I’m not enjoying it anyway, because I know I need to get up. I stay there and worry about it for a bit.
The decision has definitely already been made, and it was a good one. I need to get up on time so my whole day will go better. My kids are relying on me, I have work to do, and I want the breakfast dishes done before I head out the door.
So, I remind myself that this one has already been thought through, and getting up is definitely the best thing to do. It’s my decision and it’s in my best interests.
What about how you’re going to spend the next hour? If you’re not really thinking about it, your attention can be drawn in different directions. You might be surrounded by distractions and reminders of many things you need to get done. Maybe you’re also feeling annoyed and frustrated because what you had planned can’t be done now for reasons outside your control.
So, perhaps you decide to quietly get on with a mundane task, so you’ll be doing something constructive while you calm down, get your head straight, and get ready to make new plans. That is, you’re acting on an existing decision that the mundane task needed attending to every day, and choosing to do that one now because it’s safe to go ahead with until you’re ready to re-assess your important tasks.
We make many decisions every day, some so small we’re barely even aware of them, and some which may have a big effect on our life. It’s worth thinking about decision making as part of our lives. Just the awareness that it is going on reminds us how much control we really do have over our own lives.
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