I don’t know about you, but every time I needed to make a choice between different passions or project to add to my life, I used to get into trouble. I didn’t know which one to choose. Often, I just didn’t even want to make a choice. I wanted all of the options. Sounds like a multi-potentialite? I guess so…
This was the case with small things like what to do next weekend or where to go on holiday. But it was much more difficult with more important things like where to live, what hobbies, or what career to choose.
Fortunately, choosing between different passions and projects got easier with time. Especially because I learnt a few strategies for decision making and today I will share these strategies with you.
Importance, Impact and Investment
First of all, you need to be aware of the importance of your choice. To make the choice of painting a wall in your house white or another colour is trivial. What career to choose, whom to marry or where to live… that’s something that will have a big impact on the rest of your life.
It’s a waste of time to keep ruminating about trivial and unimportant choices. But it’s intelligent to think things through end-to-end and to take into account all the consequences when you need to make a decision on something highly important.
Another factor is the investment in time, energy and money as a consequence of the choices you make. For example: When you want to start a course or a new hobby, then it’s good to know how much the subscription will cost but also how many hours a week you would need to spend on it and it’s up to you to imagine if you will have the energy to do that in the evenings after your regular job or at the weekends (just an example).
10 strategies for making choices and taking decisions
Basically there are two different kinds of strategies for making choices or taking decisions: The first one is based on specific statements and the second one is based on numbers. Let’s first have a look at the strategies based on statements.
1. The enchanted option
Whether it’s wise or not, this option, passion or project is your favourite, it’s your dada, it’s what you want. Apparently this option is important for you, whatever the consequences, impact or investment will be. Actually the choice is already made and the decision is taken; You will do this.
2. Operating necessity
Your house needs a new roof because there are holes in it. You need a new car because your old car broke down. Whether the statement is true or not, you are convinced that this is needed and you will do whatever it takes. Again, the decision is already taken in advance because it’s something you absolutely need.
3. Competitive necessity
Whether it’s your sister, your brother, your friends, your neighbours or your colleagues, you want to choose this option, run this project or step into this new adventure because you want to beat them. Sounds stupid? How about starting a new course because you think it will give you a better chance than your colleague to get promoted?
4. Development necessity
We have the feeling we need to extend our knowledge, our skills or our competencies to fill a gap. Oh, and we, multi-potentialites see a lot of gaps that need to be developed, haha 🙂 So we act on our beliefs about what will probably have a positive impact and we don’t worry about the investment in time and energy.
5. Comparative benefit model
I can agree on the fact that the first four strategies for choosing are not ‘real strategies’ because the choice has already been made. The comparative benefit model gives you a ‘real’ technique for when you need to choose between a lot of options ( i.e. your interests, passions and projects) or when you want to order your options.
The technique goes like this:
- Write your options or projects on index cards or sticky notes, one per card or per note
- Divide your cards or sticky notes in two groups: Low and high priority, or low and high positive impact, following the criteria that you find most important
- Divide the group with low priority or impact in two groups: low low and low medium
- Divide the group with high priority or impact in two groups: high medium and high high
- You can repeat the two previous steps and refine as much as you want
- In the end you can even change cards or sticky notes if you feel they are not in the right place
- When finished you have ordered your options, passions or projects by priority or whatever is your most important selection criteria.
This is only the first part of the article. The second and last part will give you numeric strategies like scoring models and profitability calculation. Please sign up to get access to the second part.