As a CEO, one of the things you need to be is comfortable making decisions pretty much constantly. Everything is up to you. You need to be confident in the decisions you make. And that includes taking the necessary time to process information, to make decisions without it becoming procrastination. So today’s episode is all about me breaking down how to process decisions without falling into that procrastination trap.
- Learn the difference between processing and procrastination.
- Listen in as I lay out the questions to ask yourself when it comes to making a decision.
- Discover if fear is behind your delayed decision-making.
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As a CEO, one of the things you need to be is comfortable making decisions constantly. It is the main task that you will find yourself doing in this role. Everything is up to you. You need to be confident in the decisions you make. And that includes taking the necessary time to process without it becoming procrastination. So today’s episode, I am breaking down how to process without falling into that procrastination trap.
I make decisions really quickly. My husband does not. He takes his time processing but he also makes really good decisions. (I mean, he did marry me.) But it took me awhile to understand that his way of making decisions was so different than mine but still effective… most of the time. I’d get so frustrated when I’d ask for his thoughts on something and he needed days or weeks to form an opinion. Because I’ve always been such an outspoken, opinionated person, so I have thoughts on just about everything. And that also allows me to make judgments about different situations and make decisions quickly.
My decisive nature is one reason why I’ve been able to start, build, and run my own business for 3 years. Because as an entrepreneur, as the CEO & founder of your own business, you have to be the one to make decisions— lots of them. And you need to make them quickly & confidently. Because opportunities aren’t going to always be available to you.
Usually you aren’t making these decisions in a vacuum, so there are others involved who will be affected by the decision you make or you taking your sweet time to make it. People that maybe presented you with an opportunity who may retract that opportunity if you don’t jump on it.
Your company & your success depend on your ability to make decisions quickly.
And while I have gotten really good at this, I am not going to sit here and say that you just need to get good at making decisions. It isn’t something that you are either born to do or not. It’s a skill to learn and hone.
Which is why I’m sharing this episode with you— so you can get better at it.
But whether you are like my husband or me, you still need to process decisions— whether that takes 30 seconds, 30 minutes, or god forbid 30 days… (Patience is not a virtue I possess, as you might’ve realized.)
But here is the deal: While I want to honor the way you show up and make decisions, you have to ask yourself if your way is helping you move forward towards your goals or if it is holding you back and hindering you from making the progress you want to make.
Let me lay it out for you:
Processing vs procrastination
Processing & procrastination are two different things. So, I’m challenging you to take a look at how you make decisions to make sure you are processing without falling into the zone of procrastination.
Procrastination is the manifestation of fear, fear of showing up, of taking action, of what the possible outcomes could be, and even of your own power.
We as humans push against change, whether it’s good or bad, because it’s unknown.
Procrasti-researching, procrasti-planning, procrasti-cleaning, procrasti-organizing— those are all real things.
Sure, there is a time and place for planning and organizing and research. I am not discounting that at all. I want you to have the information, clarity, and confidence you need to make the right decisions for you.
But there’s a certain time when all that planning, organizing, research, and cleaning becomes a crutch and an excuse to keep you from moving forward.
Procrastination shows up as analysis paralysis or the inability to make a decision.
You refuse to make a decision because there are too many choices and you don’t want to choose wrong, so you put it off. You might even try to disguise it at processing. But we all know that is BS, right?
And the most difficult truth about it is that by putting off making decisions you are inadvertently making a decision. You may think there are only two choices but inaction & indecision is a hidden choice— that is your decision if you refuse to choose between the options presented. Your decision to continue to waste precious conscious or subconscious brain power worrying about it, mulling over it, letting fear & insecurity infiltrate everything.
So, how do you know which of these you are falling into?
Well, as you might have guessed, I’m gonna ask you to get curious and get a bit self-aware.
Why haven’t you made a decision yet? If you answered anything that has to do with fear… you likely are procrastinating. If it is because you don’t have all the info you need, you are likely still processing. There is no shame in you admitting that you are procrastinating. TBH there is no shame & judgment around here anyway, but especially about this. I talk all the time that there isn’t one right way or wrong way to run your business. There is just that which pushes you closer to what you are working for and that which hinders your progress. So really examine this question and allow yourself to be curious and honest rather than beating yourself up or trying to save face.
Okay, next question: what additional information do you need to make a decision? This is an interesting question because it makes you examine what you already know and what you might not. It takes it out of a blurry vague “I need more info” generalization and makes you get specific. If you can’t come up with anything substantial or what you do come up feels like an excuse (you know what that feels like… let’s be honest), you’re likely procrastinating. If you can clearly define additional info you need, go gather it and revisit.
And finally, when do you need to make a decision? Maybe this is an externally-imposed deadline where someone needs an answer from you. But maybe there isn’t anyone waiting on your answer. And in that situation you have to set yourself a deadline. Yes, you can set a deadline and stick to it. Don’t believe me? Try it! Put it on the calendar, set a notification, put it out into the world, just do it.
There is a fine line I am challenging you to walk here: one where you give yourself the time and space to make the right decision for you using your natural way of making decisions without procrastinating & giving yourself and your future over to analysis paralysis. But the more you practice this, I promise the better you’ll get!
I always like to end each episode with an action step that you can take right now to help you move forward and begin to implement immediately. Here is your action step for this episode: What is a decision you have been putting off? Why have you been putting it off? Go back and answer these questions, so you can move forward & not miss out on something amazing!