The Secret to Effective, Efficient Decision-Making

Time to read: a wee bit over one minute

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I've been hearing from lots of people about big decisions they are making this week. Decision making can be daunting. It can produce anxiety and fear. You feel the risk of making the wrong decision and then facing the consequences forever.

See what you think of this common decision-making process:

  1. Gather all the information.
  2. Think about the information.
  3. Make a list of pros and cons to assess each option and determine which one is the best choice.
  4. Think more.
  5. Organize the information.
  6. Try to get more information.
  7. Look for more pros and cons, hoping to find the one that will make everything clear.
  8. Feel muddled and foggy and not sure what to do.
  9. Repeat steps 4 - 8 until you can't sleep.

Sound familiar? You go round and round, stressing out, and getting no closer to clarity until you make the decision through force or exhaustion.

This process is not effective and doesn't produce better results.

Gathering information is fine. The thinking bit is fine. Making a pros and cons list is fine too, but in many cases, it isn't actually going to help you make your decision. There's a point where no additional information is going to make the choice.

So, what's the secret to easier, more effective decision-making?

Here is everything you need to know to move you from muddled to clarity:

The secret: Leverage other ways of knowing. (I put this in bold in case you scrolled right to it.)

You have wisdom that goes beyond the facts and data, and here's how to access that wisdom:

  • Feel your feelings. Do you feel excited or defeated? Do you feel happy or trapped? Are you bored or full of possibility?
  • Listen to your intuition. Are you getting messages that say go or messages that scream "stop!" Does the door feel open or closed? Where do things feel ease-ful or hard?

This requires you to be very honest with yourself and sometimes to make decisions that don't make logical sense. (Remember when I told you I didn't publish a book even though a publisher went out of their way to talk to me? The decision to not publish didn't make logical sense from the standpoint of what I should do. And everything in me screamed, "no!")

You can use this tip for big decisions like which job to take or for small ones like what to do for dinner. The more you practice, the faster and clearer your decisions will become.

I hope this helps!

Christina

Do you know someone who is struggling with a decision? Hit forward on this email and share it with them. If they want more rebel-y tips and tricks for doing this thing called life and work, they can join us here.

 

How to Get Out of Exhaustion and Overwhelm

Time to read: Less than one minute and fifteen seconds

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Hello Rebels,

It's 6:00 am. Your feet are barely on the floor, and you're already behind. You stayed up after your children's bedtime to empty your stuffed inbox and get ahead on that presentation you couldn't finish during your back-to-back day. Then there is summer scheduling, end of school activities, and picking up the slack while your colleagues take spring vacation. Remember exercise? Ha!

You're exhausted before you've started, and although some days are more packed than others, they all mush together in one long string of busy-ness.

Feel familiar?

You think that if you find the right productivity strategy, you'll be able to fix this. You get creative with your company's insistence that you "do more with less." You only check email once or twice a day. You focus on the three most important things you need to get done. These strategies work to some extent, and nothing seems to change.

I love productivity tips as much as the next busy person. And, organizing your desk differently or making prioritized lists is only going to get you so far.

What will actually get you out of exhaustion and overwhelm, is a change in you.

To help you experiment with this idea, I turned to a process I use in my own life. I have this amazing set of cards full of empowering choices and beliefs. I pull one every day to anchor how I will be with whatever is happening that day.

Today, I pulled three cards for you. (See the photo above.) Your three cards are:

Willingness: This is one of my favorites. You have to be willing to do things differently today. To slow down. To stop worrying. To get into action. Even when things suck, we're often not actually willing to change it.

I am creative: Where can you lean into your wild creativity to bring more joy, new solutions, or less stress to your work?

I choose trust: I pull a card everyday, and I seriously trust 4 out of 5 times. Seems like this one might be kind of important. Where do you not trust yourself? Or others? Where can you lean into more trust to bring ease to your work and relationships?

Pick one of these cards and use it to navigate your day. Then hit reply to this email and tell me what happens.

I always love to hear from you.

With rebel love,

Christina

P.S. Please share these cards with a friend or colleague who needs a little more trust, creativity or willingness. They can join our merry band of rebels here.

 

This Is What Easy Looks Like!

Time to read: 45 seconds

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Hello rebels,

A client of mine is looking for work and has decided to use this opportunity to craft his career in his area of passion and life purpose. It feels risky and exciting and scary and wonderful all at once.

He was recently accepted into and attended an exclusive international training program in his area of passion. This training included luminaries in his field, people with gobs of experience, amazing possibility for connection, and the potential for tapping into the unpublished job market. He was simultaneously excited and terrified.

For the event, we set some tactical goals: 1. to get a photo with the biggest star at the conference; 2. come away with at least 5 new connections.

On our call this week, we reviewed his progress toward these goals. Photo with star - check! And the 5 connections... "well," he said, "the conference organizers sat us at tables according to our region so the 5 connections happened easily. I guess I didn't really do the assignment."

What?! Didn't do the assignment? He wanted 5 connections and got 5 connections. In fact, more than 5 connections fell into his lap easily. Something seemed wrong because he hadn't "worked" for the connections. He hadn't struggled.

And, this is how life and work happens when you are on the right track. This is how opportunities flow when you are following your purpose. Opportunities come easily. Connections happen naturally. The universe just seats you at a table with exactly the people you need to meet.

All that energy spent struggling and worrying about making the right connections at the conference? He got to use it to talk about the things he actually cares about and take the next steps toward what he wants.

What would it be like to let go of the struggle and achieve your goals this easily?

You can.

With rebel love,

Christina

P.S. Do you know someone who feels they have to struggle to achieve their goals? Share this newsletter with them. They can join the fun here.

 

You Already Get It!

Time to read: Less than one minute then you are back at it!

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Hello Rebels!

Today’s article is told with permission. Not just with permission but with, “OMG, a RESOUNDING YES!”

One of my new clients, let’s call him Ted, was telling me about…

  • His discouraging, demotivating, and soul-sucking job.
  • His beautiful, growth-filled, and conscious personal life.

Every day, Ted goes to work, serves up new business and watches his company disappoint and fail to deliver to those new customers in ways, that in his mind, lack integrity. (Why he has tolerated a work situation that lacks integrity is a newsletter for another day.)

And, Ted has made significant and brave changes in his personal world. He has embraced an alcohol-free lifestyle, committed to a wonderful and loving relationship, and prioritized a long list of amazing volunteer activities that feed his life purpose.

One part of his life is integrated and intentional. Another part is out of integrity. Have you seen this dynamic in your world - where one area feels great while another feels crummy?

Here’s the good news. You already get it. You already know what to do.

When I asked Ted what enabled him to be brave and intentional in his personal life, he said “reflection and positive action.”

Perfect. Ted took a homework assignment to think about how to bring his own wisdom of reflection and positive action to his work life. Then he can sit back and watch with awe as things start to change.

So, take a look at the parts of your life that feel great. What are doing to make those parts great? Make a short list and then apply your own wisdom to the parts that stink.

You already know what to do. You already have the tools that work for you. You just have to put them to use.

Then tell me all about it. I love hearing from you.

With rebel love,

Christina

 

Your Boss Wanted Me to Send You This Message

Time to read: 5 seconds. You've got a plane to catch.

Sedona, AZ

Sedona, AZ

Hi Rebels,

Your boss wanted me to write to you with this simple message:

Take a vacation.

If you have stockpiled a huge bank of vacation days because you're "too busy to leave the office," this means you.

Seriously, take a vacation. Now.

And send me photos.

With rebel love,

Christina

P.S. Do you have a friend who needs to be reminded to use their vacation time? Send them this little hint. They can sign up for more hints here.

 

Got a Secret Dream?

Time to read: Not more than 2 minutes. Not counting the pauses to breathe.

My dream

My dream

Top of the day to you, Rebels!

When you all write to me, you say that sometimes it seems like I'm in your head. That somehow, I knew exactly what you needed to hear. Today, I actually am in your head, and here's what I see in there.

You have a dream.

It may be a quiet dream that you've never said out loud. You likely have taken no steps to make it come true. You've told no one. It sits quietly in your brain and heart, popping up in the wee hours of the morning, slipping by your consciousness while waiting at Starbucks, and maybe disappearing for months to reappear again in a quiet moment.

This dream is probably creative. Say, painting. Or writing a novel. Or learning to belly dance. You tell yourself it's ridiculous, that you don't have time, that it's terrifying, that you don't know how to do whatever it is, and that other more important priorities deserve your attention. Yet, the dream persists in its quiet nudging.

I have such a dream, and I'm stumbling awkwardly (and slowly) toward doing something about it.

My dream? To tell a story on The Moth.

Which brings me back to you. What's the process for stumbling awkwardly toward your dream? As I'm in the middle of the process, here are the steps I'm following:

Step 1: Avoid your dream. Avoid it at all cost. Check Facebook. Push it away. Ignore it. Let years pass while you do nothing. If it sticks to you through all of that, move to Step 2.

Step 2: After avoiding, notice your dream. Make it real to yourself. Bring it forward in your consciousness. Start to tip toe toward what it would be like to do this thing.

Step 3: Tell people. Start with one person. Make it more real by telling a few more people. Let's say you publish a weekly newsletter. You can out yourself there. Bringing other people into your secret dream helps to create personal accountability.

Step 4: Remind yourself that you've done terrifying things before. Like apply for jobs. Or ask for a date. When I published my first newsletter to 80 of my closest friends and relatives, I thought I might die. Now, it's just part of what I do. You can do scary things.

Step 5: Take one little step. Do one little thing that will start the ball rolling. When I hit send on this newsletter, I'm going to click the button on the Moth website that says, "Tell your story." I'm terrified. And you know you can do one thing.

Step 6: Visualize your dream. I'm starting to be able to see myself on that stage, telling a story. I can picture publishing a link to the audio for all of you. This step feels tender to me. You can take your process as slowly as you want.

 

As for the rest of the steps, I'm not sure yet, because I am still somewhere between Steps 4 and 5. I'll report back on the rest once I know what they are. (Whew! My daughter just called me to pick her up from school. I'm saved from Step 5 and can go back to Step 1. At least for a little while.)

What's your secret dream? I'm happy to help you with Step 3. Write to me and tell me all about it.

With Rebel love,

Christina

P.S. Just breathe and take the first step.

P.P.S. If you know someone who has a secret dream, please forward this newsletter to them. They can subscribe for a weekly dose of inspiration about work and life here.

 

Waiting

Time to read: 30 seconds and change.

Waiting for Godot

Waiting for Godot

In your fast paced, action-oriented life, what is your relationship to waiting?

Consider these situations:

  • You feel like you are not appreciated and are being passed over for promotion.
  • A director you know walked by you in the hall and didn't acknowledge you.
  • You received your performance appraisal and there was some "feedback" that was hard to hear.

You say something you wish you hadn't said in a meeting. In situations like this, the temptation to do something is powerful. When you feel uncomfortable and confused, the desire to fix it, smooth it over, and make yourself comfortable again is a strong driver. In order to restore equilibrium, you might do any of the following: worry, talk to 10 friends about it, call your mom, talk to the person involved, or take a firm stand for what you want.

What would it be like to wait? What happens if you do nothing? What if your only action is to breathe and be still with it?

When you drop the urge to rush to create comfort and sit in your discomfort, my intuition says powerful things will happen for you.

Give waiting a try this week. Then write and tell me all about it.

I'm experimenting with waiting this week, too.

I'm curious to hear what happens.

With rebel love,

Christina