Making decisions

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss the GTD Methodology' started by Anonymous, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. treelike

    treelike Registered

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    Use of a decision making methodology is different from making a decision. Your example of creating a matrix could be a Next Action, involving lots of decisions, and the result of the matrix is an output which still needs a decision- whether to accept the output or not. None of these individual decisions can be Next Actions.
     
  2. treelike

    treelike Registered

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    Does it really take energy to think or feel? Can we ever stop feeling or thinking? Seems to me that it happens all the time that we are alive.

    Decision making was disrupted because his brain was disrupted. Did his ability to make decisions gradually improve as he learned to use his then nictone free brain?
     
  3. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    If you define "making a decision" as "a lightning from the sky" or "an inspiration sent by higher power" you're right.
    I use formal decision making procedures that consist of one or more Next Actions.
    My decisions are not sent to me. I actively make them.
     
  4. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    There's directionless thinking and directed thinking. The former does not take energy, the latter takes a lot of energy.
     
  5. treelike

    treelike Registered

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    Or the product of electrical activity in the brain resulting from seemingly random quantum states of particles in brain material......
     
  6. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    This thread is surprisingly active for one started in 2003...

    @Jan Ernest, I understand the desire for clear-cut answers to GTD questions but I've learned over time that GTD isn't like an equation where you can "solve for X". There usually isn't one right answer to a GTD question, even though we in these forums sometimes succumb to that belief (and I'm no exception).

    I can tell you with certainty that David Allen defines a "next action" as a physical, visible activity that you can do in one sitting. It's in the book. But what that means is open to interpretation.

    Moreover, I'm not sure anyone can accurately say something "cannot" be a next action. My guess is that even David Allen himself doesn't do GTD "by the book" 100% of the time.

    I've found that experience is a better guide than anything else when it comes to GTD. If "make a decision" as a next action works well for you, then there's nothing to change. If you're more like me and find yourself avoiding such a next action because it's too vague for you, ask yourself "how" you will make that decision and what person/place/tool you'll need to accomplish it. Then capture it in the appropriate list and do it when it's appropriate. If my advice doesn't work either, keep experimenting until you find something that does.

    I think the question of what are the most appropriate actions for making a decision is beyond the scope of this forum, because the answer depends on your thinking style and the type of decision you're trying to make. Making a large purchasing decision in a corporate environment, for example, will be a lot different from buying a new shirt.

    Ironically, after I got done blowing my stack a bit with @mcogilvie (for which I apologize, mcogilvie) I realized that a sometimes when I elaborately plan how to make a decision, I end up ignoring the plan making a snap decision based on my intuition in the moment. That's OK too. GTD is meant to be an enabler, not a straitjacket.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017
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  7. Jan Ernest

    Jan Ernest Registered

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    @bcmyers2112 I truly appreciate what you explained here. I think it is just right to say that the act (itself) of choosing an option, a choice, or "making that decision" does not expend much energy. We just collect, and do the best actions that will help us make that decision, and this is what the Next Actions (I believe) are truly meant for.
     
  8. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    Similarily publishing this comment does not expend much energy. Just click "Post Reply". Collecting and typing words - this is what the Next Actions (you believe) are truly meant for. #sarcasm
    Why do I use sarcasm? Because somehow I feel that it's inappropriate to detach the "final cut" of the Next Action from this Next Action.
    You collect data AND make choice - and this is the "make decision" Next Action.
    You type words AND click "Post Reply" - and this is the "publish comment" Next Action.
     
  9. Jan Ernest

    Jan Ernest Registered

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    [GALLERY=][/GALLERY]
    So what your saying is that in the example below. Your own method is the one shown on items 1-5.

    1. Called (Next Action) Supplier A to request for quote,
    2. Called (Next Action) Supplier B to request for quote,
    3. Reviewed quotes from Supplier A, and Supplier B,
    4. Draft Cost and Benefit Analysis from quotes of Supplier A and Supplier B,
    5. Select Supplier based from Cost and Benefit Analysis

    And would not agree to this one:

    1. Called (Next Action) Supplier A to request for quote,
    2. Called (Next Action) Supplier B to request for quote,
    3. Reviewed quotes from Supplier A, and Supplier B,
    4. Draft Cost and Benefit Analysis from quotes of Supplier A and Supplier B,

    5. Compute for Supplier A and B Rate of Return, ROI
    6. Email request for Discount
    7. etc. etc.

    Note: That items 5, 6, 7, instead of "Selecting Choice" is made to actionable items to streamline decision making, to take out fats in the decision making processing - assisting to make a result (decision)

    8. Draft Purchase Order
    9. Email Purchase Order
     
  10. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    I cannot find on your lists this "a lightning from the sky" or "an inspiration sent by higher power", or "a product of electrical activity in the brain resulting from seemingly random quantum states of particles in brain material" non-action revelation that happens to @treelike during decision-making process. ;-)
     
  11. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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  12. Jan Ernest

    Jan Ernest Registered

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    @bcmyers2112 Yes. Learning from the thread. It seems a lot of people really have their own way of staying productive, it is now in the matter of which one fits to my style.
     
  13. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    @Jan Ernest, I was thinking about my advice and I may not have been as clear as I'd hoped. I thought you were asking if "make a decision" was a next action. As in "make a decision" period, nothing following it. For me, that would be too vague. Like I said, I've found that my next actions need to identify "how" I'll do something.

    On the other hand, "Select Supplier based from Cost and Benefit Analysis" sounds like it would work for me. It suggests a concrete action: I'll review the cost and benefit analysis. As long as I already have that analysis available in hardcopy or electronic format, I know what I'm going to do.

    Personally, I don't worry about why my brain is more attracted to next actions that are physical, visible activities. I'm not a scientist, nor do I aspire to be. It was enough for me to try it and determine that, yes, this is what works for me. Hence my suggestion not to get bogged down with others arguing about the theory behind it. Just put GTD into practice and keep moving forward to determine what works best for you.
     
  14. Jan Ernest

    Jan Ernest Registered

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    @bcmyers2112 Thanks for clarifying further. I worry that I get to attach to the 'details' instead of getting it work, and get struck by Analysis paralysis
     
  15. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    @Jan Ernest, you're not alone. I was once an "analysis paralysis" basket case. I still struggle with it from time to time. When I do, I've learned the best way to get through it is to just do something. You can almost always correct course if you head in the wrong direction, but don't get anywhere staying put.
     
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  16. Gardener

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    I missed this. It's not that he couldn't make decisions; he chose not to, because decisionmaking was a specific activity with a specific context, and the context was one that he intended to avoid. (Because it involved cigarettes.) Only when the habit of not-smoking was well established was he prepared to create a new context for decisionmaking, and resume decisionmaking.

    My argument -- I think :) -- was that decisionmaking is an activity, one that does require time and energy, not just a consequence. Now, we can quibble about "energy" -- I'm not necessarily talking about wattage, but about the metaphor of emotional energy. But I regard that as a resource.
     

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