Consider the following decision…. should I sit down and eat breakfast before work, or skip breakfast altogether? This question passes through the minds of millions each morning as we roll out of bed late wishing for an extra minute of sleep.
Making this decision is terrible. Why? Not because breakfast is the most important meal of the day but, because the question is narrowly framed.
Instead of taking into consideration the many options I have, I am locked into deciding between 2 options, eating breakfast or not. Almost intuitively my mind will contemplate the pros and cons of eating breakfast when it should be working to find the best way to fill my stomach.
A better way to make this decision is to decide amongst multiple options. I can alter the question and ask myself should I :
- a) eat my normal normal breakfast of cereal at home,
- b) should I grab food on the way to work,
- c) grab a nutrigrain bar,
- d) take a packet of microwavable oatmeal with me,
- e) eat at my desk at work,
- f) purchase something from the work cafeteria,
- g) or get to work early and order breakfast for everyone else?
- h) all of the above
I have expanded my options from eating breakfast or not to 7 different options. Now if I wake up late, instead of deciding to skip breakfast, I have 7 other options to choose from!
Rephrasing the question increases your options and eliminates the worst option of not doing anything.
To make the best decisions, rephrase your question into an open ended question. Then create the best solution.
Ask yourself something like this:
How can I get the greatest nutritional benefit each morning in the least amount of time so I can consistently feed myself morning after morning without being late for work or feeling rushed?
Create the best solution from this question.
Transforming your decision making from shall I or not is into deciding between multiple options is the equivalent of transforming yourself from a pawn to a queen. As a pawn you are limited in your options but as a queen you have many.
Transforming your decision making even further by asking open ended questions and creating the best solution is the equivalent of transforming yourself from a chess piece to a chess player. Your options are endless.
Here is another example:
Should I buy that brand new shiny BMW or not?
let’s expand the frame to include choosing between multiple options. Should I
- a) spend $50k on the new BMW
- b) spend $5k to fix the current car and save the $45k for something else,
- c) buy 2 cars for $25k each,
- d) buy a motorcycle for $10k and a car for $40k.
- d) sell my car and take public transportation and keep the $50k to invest in the stock market.
Now let’s expand the frame even more.
What is the best way to commute to work while feeling comfortable and looking cool for the least amount of money? (or whatever you desire most)
Then create the best solution.
Making better decisions will allow you to discover new opportunities!
With this new freedom and flexibility, you will accomplish things you never thought possible.
Follow these rules to think like the worlds best decision makers!
- Move away from choosing between two options, avoid
- yes or no
- should I or not
- this or that
- all or nothing
- Consider multiple options.
- Broaden the frame by asking open ended questions then make your decision by creating the best solution.