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Live a More Effective Life Mapping Your Most Important Decisions

Decisions, decisions, decisions…

Every day we’re confronted with many decisions. Some big, some small. How do you approach which software package to implement? Or, more importantly, how do you approach which life path should you take? Should you start your own business? Take that job you were just offered? The choices we make in the moment could have long and important repercussions.

John Hammond, author of Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Better Decisions, stresses the importance of a consistent approach to decision making…

“Despite the importance of decision making to our lives, few of us ever receive any training in it. So we are left to learn from experience. But experience is a costly, inefficient teacher that teaches us bad habits along with good ones. Because decision situations vary so markedly, the experience of making one important decision often seems of little use when facing the next.”

Last Thursday, I posted a link to Luciano Passuello’s review of the Hammond’s book, The Essential Guide to Effective Decision Making. While reading the post, I realized that this approach to decision making is perfect for MindManager.

Live a more effective life…

The following map example can be applied to both work and life. It can be updated individually or as a team. The latter can help develop better choices, improve communication, and create alignment.

Basically, you have to clearly define your problem statement. Then, an often overlooked step is to identify your true objectives. After you’ve identified the problem and understand your objectives, brainstorm your list of alternatives. For each alternative, there can be consequences and tradeoffs.

Understand all of these and you’ve created the ‘big picture’ from which you can truly evaluate and select the best option for moving forward. The map template has notes from Luciano’s post and links to more resources. As Luciano states, “this process may seem like a lot of work to go through. However, after you use it a couple of times, you’ll realize that, if you walk through the steps in order, you’ll seldom need to go through them all.”

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Question for our readers: What important decisions have you made with the help of mind mapping?

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About the Author: Michael Deutch is Mindjet’s Chief Evangelist, content contributor for the Mindjet Blog and the Mindjet Connections newsletter. Get more from Michael on Twitter.

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