“Anger does not solve problems – anger only makes things worse. I go by the old saying, ‘Don’t make important decisions when you’re angry.'” – Lionel Sosa
Whenever I am emotional or panicked, I make horrible decisions. The original problem compounds with all the bad decisions I make in these emotional states. Have you ever experienced this?
What I learned, painfully I might add, is to take some time to let the shock of some emergency subside. After I calm my emotions down, I make better decisions and my planning is more solid. The solutions I arrive at solve the problem.
Planning is simple when you think about it. You brainstorm, weigh your options, and choose the path that is likely to meet your objectives. Here are the steps I take to put together an action-plan:
First, I do some research. My research will provide books, YouTube videos, tutorials, and even online courses I could take to learn how to do something or give me ideas what other people have done in my situation. Next I brainstorm.
When I conduct research and begin digging into the content, I gather a bunch of ideas. These ideas are gathered from these resources and compiled with my own ideas. All of this goes into my mind mapping software. The mind mapping software I use is called Scapple. I enjoy using mind mapping software because it allows me to organize all of my ideas and add even more, once I can see my problem graphically and can see the gaps in my planning.
Next, it’s decision time. In most cases, my mind mapping exercise will show the best course of action, based on time, expense, and capability criteria. Some solutions will take too long; others will cost too much. Other solutions will require me to know how to do something that I don’t know how to do and are rendered useless.
Now that I have my solution, I’ll outline the action steps I take from my mind map. This outline will help me put my action steps in order. Then, all I have left to do is to estimate how long each step will take to determine when I will have my project completed.
When I have completed this exercise, my stress levels drop considerably. I am relaxed because I took the time to decompress and think through the problem at hand. I learned, the hard way, that rushing into a solution without thinking through it, normally results in more bad decisions and more problems.
When confronted with a problem, take the time to think through it. Weigh your options. Then, implement your plan on your calendar, time-keeping, or to-do software. If you are panicked or pissed off, decompress before making a decision. Meditate, do a workout, or listen to some soothing music. Once the emotions are gone, you will make better decisions.
I hope this helps you in some way. I wish all of you a terrific Saturday!
Until next time…