You make a lot of decisions every day. And it’s hard to make good decisions – especially good business decisions – when your emotions are fired up, right?
The limbic system is the part of your brain that helps you make moment-to-moment decisions all day long and your emotions fire up your limbic system. It’s hard to make good decisions when your emotions go all haywire and they get in the way. But one of the things that can help your limbic system stay regulated is your perception of choice.
When you’re able to make more of your own choices – about life, work, your environment, your actions, your thoughts, etc… your limbic system feels less threatened and you’re better able to view situations clearly throughout your day and make better choices.
Many professionals go through their day reactively, addressing the next thing because it’s in their face: the loudest alarm, the squeakiest wheel, the easiest to-do within reach. It can become tense, stressful and emotional.
I even overheard someone say the other day that they get things done by doing what’s on the post-it notes closest to their computer first and work they way outwards. Is that really the most complete, trusted, results-driven system? I don’t think so…
How about we go for pro-activity? How about having a plan and actually having the knowledge of everything you really need to do and then, when you make choices, you know you’re making a choice on the most reliable, up-to-date information? No guessing, hoping, or optimistic gambling. And this give you confidence, certainty and peace of mind.
Maybe you feel like there’s no better way – that the choices you’re making are the best you can do and this is as good as it gets. But there is a better way.
When your brain detects (or you’re hit with) an issue, an overdue task or an urgent phone call, it sees it as a threat and so you take care of it first and foremost. You’re in survival mode, but you’re also rewarded because your brain knows at this moment that task is important – maybe the most important thing you’re aware of. But is it really the most important?
Remember, ignorance is bliss and if your brain can’t remember everything you should have written down or typed up as a task, it’s going to focus on the one thing that’s in your face or that someone has brought to your attention.
You might operate in this exact way, but also suspect you’re forgetting something and just don’t what it is. Or maybe you struggle with prioritizing and wonder, “Is this the most important thing I should be working on right now?”
If you feel like you don’t have a choice at all because you don’t have a tool to use to capture every task or priority currently on your plate, then you’ve relinquished your opportunity to choose and you’ll continue to feel out of control. But you must have and use a tool to help you get control back. If you don’t then you can’t negotiate your time or make the best decisions about your priorities because you don’t have all the facts.
Give yourself a tool that allows you to make more and better choices. Use an electronic Task list you can build and trust. Get more confidence and certainty back in your work day so you can make sound decisions every day. It’ll be the most pro-active step you can take and in turn, you can enjoy more productivity and some much needed peach of mind.