When life presents a challenge that requires a difficult decision (like taking the necessary steps to recover from a pandemic), it’s important to minimize one’s emotional concerns and focus on facts. When logic supersedes emotion, better decisions usually result.
A technique that has worked well for me is to gather as much information as reasonable in the time frame allowed, identify potential advisors, list and compare various options, consult with selected advisors when appropriate, and ultimately determine which option provides the best solution.
If that process sounds intimidating, it’s not. Sit down with a legal pad and start writing. What’s the issue? What do I know about this? What other information might I need? Who do I know that can assist me? What websites are available to further inform me? How many options do I have?
Give each option its own sheet of paper and divide the sheet vertically into two columns. On the left side, write down all the reasons this option works. On the right side, write down all the reasons this option might not be the best solution. Continue to contribute remarks – pro and con – to each option over a period of days or weeks (depending upon your time-table) as new information becomes available.
When satisfied with the information you’ve gathered and the assessments you’ve made, sit down with your team of advisors and review each option. Recognize that no solution may be ideal, but one will likely be better than another. Once the best option has been identified, act to resolve the issue.
This simple problem-solving technique removes the emotional component from the decision-making process while enabling one to compare “apples to apples” by focusing on the facts. The next time you’re faced with an insurmountable problem, try this technique. It all just starts with a legal pad and your thoughts.
“Never cut a tree down in the wintertime.
Never make a negative decision in the low time.
Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods.
Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.”
~~Robert H. Schuller