The fast pace of life means that we are constantly in need of making choices, decisions, and setting direction both at home and at work. Especially for those of us that tend to overthink things, some decisions feel too big to make without endless analysis, research, and thinking about potential outcomes. In many cases for me this ends up simply as never really fully committing to an option.
While trusting our intuition is a very valid way to help make a decision, sometimes I need another tool, especially for those bigger decisions that feel just a bit more consequential in life.
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This is where 10-10-10 comes into play. 10-10-10 is a way to make your decisions with confidence, get unstuck, and move yourself forward with clarity. The details and a plethora of examples about it can be found in Suzy Welch’s book on the subject (Amazon aff. link).
The basic idea is that as you work out your next decision, you deliberately consider the consequences of your decision in the:
- immediate present (next 10 minutes)
- near term (next 10 months)
- and in the distant future (next 10 years)
And the steps to take to apply 10-10-10:
1. Start with a question.
Pose your dilemma, problem, or decision you need to make in the form of a question. Should I go back to school? Should I quit my job? Should I buy the house? Forming your dilemma into a question actually helps you determine exactly what is the issue you are trying to resolve.
2. Collect Some Relevant Data.
This shouldn’t be a huge process… you can do this in your head, with pen and paper, even just in a conversation with your spouse or friend. What you do here is think through what are the consequences of each of your options in ten minutes? ten months? ten years? Note that you don’t literally need to take this as 10 minutes… it really means “right now”, as in within the immediate short-term, like today, or this week. And 10 months means a medium-term time when the decision has passed but its consequences continue to happen in ways you can reasonably predict. And the “10 years” stands for a future time that is so far off that the details of it are vague.
3. Analyze your Data.
Now you can take all the information you’ve just discussed or captured and compare it to your inner values, your goals and dreams. What you’ll answer at this step is “Given everything I know right now, which option will best help me stay true to my values, dreams, and life goals?”.
And the answer to #3 will be your decision.
The magic of it is that you’ll know exactly why you made that decision, and you’ll be able to explain it to others with confidence and clarity. And you’ll have the peace of mind from staying true to your goals and values. Win-win! 10-10-10 can become your go-to life management tool for getting unstuck and getting after the life you want to build.
Cheers to getting unstuck!