I’m sure most of you will agree that the most painful part of working for yourself, creating an online business or any other business, is when you look back and don’t see the amount of progress you’ve been striving for. Or even worse, sometimes you seem to have gone backwards! In my experienence this is often due to two things: lack of direction, and procrastination. The first of the two is often caused by the lack of mentorship (I will be covering this topic in an upcoming blog post shortly) and the latter is caused by the lack of … you’ve guessed it: decissions!
Decision has been called the opposite of procrastination by some very prolific people such as Bob Proctor. It is when we decide actually to do something that it gets done. Sounds simplistic? Well, not all decisions are made equal. I like to include the word “priority” when thinking about the concept of decision making. Because if you make a decision without making it a priority to actually perform the actions, the decision is just a fantasy.
I recently managed to go from being overweight to having the same weight I had eighteen years ago in not much more than a month. How I did this was I made getting in shape my number one priority during this time. Work suffered a bit at first because I walked for two hours every day but I did eventually have more energy and focus so I made up for the lost time. I’m someone who’s had trouble completing pretty much any tasks for the last twenty years or so, so this was not something that came naturally. Make it a habit to ask yourself every morning what your priorities and goals are and make sure you have a plan of action to implement them. This principle is so important and it applies to everything you do. Are you interested in the results, or are you commited to reaching them whatever it takes? I’ve been guilty many times of unconsciously choosing the former and then being suprised that I didn’t reach my goals.
Sometimes it’s difficult to know which option to choose when you’re facing an important decision. There are some techniques that are fairly well researched. One interesting concept is accessing your subconscious mind when reaching a decision. The theory behind this technique is that our conscious mind can only process so many aspects of a decision while the subconscious mind has a lot more material to work with. I don’t know how scientific these numbers are but some psychologists state that 95-99% to all data we encounter in our daily lives are processed by the unconscious mind (or by unconscious processes if you don’t like the concept of an unconscious mind).
The technique goes like this: Think about the different options you have to choose from. Now do something that fully occupies your conscious mind for about five minutes. This can be, for example, doing fairly difficult math in your head or trying to solve a suduko puzzle. After five minutes you write down the option that first comes to mind. This might sound like nonsense but when they studied this technique they had three groups where the participants used different techniques to make a decission; one group made a very quick decission, another got to think about it for some time and the third group used the technique I described. They then asked each participant how satisfied they were with their choices. When they followed up the study and asked them again after three months, the ones that had used the technique were on average more happy with their decissions. For more on this, you can check out psychologist Richard Wiseman’s book in decision making.