Decisions Made Easy: The 4 D’s of Decision Making 

Life is filled with decisions. On a daily basis, we decide what to eat, wear, what to say to people, and which tasks to get done. It’s a lot of decisions and sometimes it can be hard to figure out what to prioritize and what isn’t worth spending time on. One of the easiest ways to remedy this is to remember the 4 D’s. Do, Defer, Delegate and Delete. When you are stuck on a certain decision, remembering the 4 D’s can help you categorize and prioritize. Keep in mind, decisions are not final. You can change a decision you have made based on new information that has presented itself to you. 

Do

These are the decisions that need to get done right away. You need to do them yourself and it is important that they get done. These are the things that you know you need to act on. Sometimes if you are a perfectionist, or are scared of outcomes, it can be hard to commit to doing something. But you will feel so much better once this is finally off your plate. If the outcome is something that is stopping you, this chart on taking calculated risks is a good place to start.  

Defer (delay)

There are absolutely things that you don’t need to make a decision on right this second. Now, this doesn’t mean procrastinating until the last minute, but rather, setting priorities. Not everything can have the most urgent spot. It is perfectly ok to say that something doesn’t need your attention right now and schedule it to do at a later time. 

Delegate 

Do you really need to be the one making this decision or performing this specific task? You are not an island. Other people are allowed to help you. Also, is this a task that you should even be doing in the first place? Or is this really someone else’s task that you are doing now just so it will get done. Obviously don’t just dump all of your tasks onto other people, but remember that it’s ok to ask for help. And it’s ok to delegate a task to someone else. 

Delete (drop) 

Everyone has their limits. When you overload yourself you will not be able to do a quality job, and your health, both mental and physical will suffer. There are times when we have to realize that we took on too much and that we can’t do a specific task. You are not a failure for this. You are human. Is this specific task really worth doing? Going back to setting priorities, if this task is something that you keep delaying, maybe it’s time to drop it altogether. 

What is one thing this week that you can act on that you’ve been putting off?

“Unnecessary fear of a bad decision is a major stumbling block to good decisions.”

– Jun Campuote

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