Do you make the decision timeline work for you?

Every decision has a decision timeline. There are points on in this timeline that will determine whether we are successful or not.
Please refer to the figure while you read this. Here we have taken as a given that the decision is right and the quality of the decision is good

  1. Pre-optimal point-this is a point when we take the decision and act too early. This is ok for some type of decisions, but may be disfunctional for others. Moreover, this decision and the subsequent action may eat into other decisions that should have been taken instead of this decision at the pre-optimal point.

  2. Optimal point-This is the right point for that specific decision when taken and acted upon will give us sufficient time and put timliness in our favour. Decisions taken at the optimal point on the decision timeline will enhance the chances of our success

  3. Sub-optimal point- This is that point in the decision timeline that will give us less time to act and the quality of our action will be slipshod. We will increase the chance of our failure or perform much below our potential if we continue to act on this point.

  4. Failure point-This is that point on the decision timeline where we have missed the bus and we will fail.

Different types of decision will have different decision timelines. For every decision we take, we need to determine the optimal decision point and take the decision and act accordingly. This will help us to take our good quality decisions to success.

Example: You are a student. You want to compete and score high in the GMAT test. The test is one year away. Your optimal decision point for various components of the GMAT test will be different.

For example, you may need to take a decision to start practicing numerical ability tests 6 months prior to the test, as your skills are lower in this area, while other areas may need less number of months.

Numerical Ability test:

Pre-optimal point- 2 years (too early and your practice may not be consistent and the pattern of the test may change)

Optimal point - 6 months

Sub-optimal point - 2 months

Failure point - 1 month

This concept is so simple but it is so violated by a large number of people.

How do you handle the decision timelines for various decisions in your life?

This is a very important question to ponder over.

Do write your comments after using this concept.

What you need to keep in mind before you make a presentation to a client?

I am a consultant. I make lots of presentations to clients all across the world.

Please find below tthe checklist I have prepared to make my presentation effective:

  1. Have a detailed talk with the people who invite you for the presentation. You need to find out the purpose and the primary objective of why you are being invited

  2. Find out whether the need for your presentation was made by the client himself or it is an intermediary's need

  3. Find out the context in which the presentation will be made

  4. Find out what is the current situation if a project is going on

  5. Find out who are the participants and why they have been invited

  6. Check whether you need to meet the CEO seperately before making the presentation

  7. Check the quality of the relationship the person who invited you has with the client

  8. Try to elicit the trigger words and the taboo words

  9. Rehearse your talk

  10. Prepare a presentation following all the principles of communication

  11. Prepare the presentation afresh, and completly avoid copy and paste

  12. Practice your presentation

  13. List down the possible queries and develop answers for them

  14. Get the list of key people (decision makers) who will be present in the meeting

  15. Plan your visit and be punctual.

How do you show you care for your loved ones?

There are different ways people show that they care:
  1. A husband tells his wife he loves her.
  2. A wife buys a gift for her husband
  3. A daughter buys a gift for her mother
  4. A son sends a card to his father stating that he is missing him

We often use occasions as props to show that we love and care. Perhaps it is a sign of our times. We get so busy oiling and running the machinery of our lives that we forget to express our love to our loved ones. Our conversations revolve around the mundane-grocery, electricity bills, houshold chores---

I think we need to do both-express our love and care daily and also use special occasions to punctuate the routine by a planned expression of showing our love to our loved ones.

Today, I got fantastic gifts from my wife. She had carefully planned this and put in a lot of effort. I am deeply touched.

I also learnt a very important lesson. We need to seek opportunities to celebrate our love with our loved ones. Along with day to day expression of our love, we also need to invest our time and effort just to show that we care and we love.

This can be done several ways:

  1. Plan a party for the person
  2. Buy her a gift
  3. Take her to a movie
  4. Buy him a watch
  5. Send her flowers

The list can go on. The point I am driving at is that the more time, effort and planning we put in to delighting our loved ones the more fulfilling all our lives will be.

We need not wait for an occasion to do this. We can pick up a random date and decide to delight our loved ones just for the sake of doing so.

I think we can classify people in different categories:

  1. People who forget to express their love day in day out and use occasions as props to express their love
  2. People who their express their love day in day out but don't take occasions seriously and miss an opportunity to express their love in a more grand, gala way
  3. People who forget to express their love day in day out and don't take occasions seriously either.
  4. People who express their love day in day out and also take occasions seriously and turn them into delightful experiences.

My wife belongs to the 4th category. I am learning to get into the 4th category. She is also good at selecting a random date and planning something delightful, either for me or for our daughter.

What about you? To which category do you belong to?

Another question you need to ask yourself is how much time, effort and planning do you invest in delighting your loved ones.

A chain is as strong as its weakest link. What are your weakest links?

I have missed out on doing things that are fun and very beneficial, just because I believe I am not good at it.
Here is a list:
  1. I am not good at painting
  2. I am not good at striking the first conversation
  3. I am not good at sports
  4. I am not good at trekking
  5. I am not good at networking

I use these statements as excuses for not attempting to start activities around these areas.

It is important to examine these lists. Perhaps, these lists have been handed over to us by others-teachers, friends, peers, bosses---or they have been created none other than ourselves.

Here is an approach to make your weakest link your strongest, if not the strongest, make it as strong as you want it to be.

  • Identify an area
  • Substitute the statement-example, "I am taking steps right now to make myself good at painting", instead of "I am not good at painting."
  • Set a timeline of 6 months with slots of 21 days (It takes 21 days to form a habit)
  • Plan to do poorly, initially. It is ok to make mistakes and you have the right and the permission (from yourself) to do so
  • Have fun
  • Celebrate the effort you put in, not the results.
  • Monitor every 21 days of your progress

I am planning to use these steps. What about you? Do you have a similar list?

Try this approach out and do feel free to come to this post and share your experience.

How do you appear to others? What is your "default face"?

This morning, I watched the news on TV and saw a comentator. He was worried or appeared worried. I continued observing people and there appearence while I was at the bank transfering some of the shares I sold and during the hour long commute to the office (Traffic was horrible today).

Each face reflected a different emotion; Some were happy;Some were angry;Some were bored;---

I was feeling quite happy myself, inside and I hope it reflected on my face. All these reflections brought me to this fundamental question:

How do I appear to others? What is my "default face"? Am I approachable?

If our "default face" is anything other than pleasent and approachable it is time to take a look and change it.

How does your "default face" look?

Are you caught in the motivation trap?

Since New Year, I have been challenging this motivation belief in me.

Let me explain the belief:

" I believe that I need to be motivated to do any task. Motivation should come first and then my action."

This is such a limiting belief. I picked this belief from many of the self-help books I have read, from management theories regarding motivation, from my bosses, teachers--- I can keep listing the source of this belief, it is a long one.

This belief was responsible for the internal dialogue in me that prevented me taking important actions when it was required.

Some examples:

I don't feel like exercising

Preparing and submitting the expense statement is so boring

I don't feel like resolving the conflict I had with my colleague

I don't feel like organizing my house

I have started substituting my internal dialogue, by being aware of it and changing it.

Hence, "I don't feel like exercising." was substituted with "Let me begin exercising to feel motivated about it."

It worked remarkably. I exercised everyday since the New Year Resolution and have lost 6 KGs (13.22 pounds).

Here are few more examples of substitution:

Let me begin to prepare and submit the expense statement to drive away boredom and get interested in the activity

Let me begin the first step to resolve the conflict to feel motivated about solving it.

Let me begin organizing the house to get into the feel of the activity and get motivated.

An action has its impact on our perception about it. Though it may not be possible to feel high about every action, we can, however, definitly generate enough feeling, interest and excitement to carry it through.

Try it out! Challenge this limiting belief of motivation! You will get a lot of things done.

The key is to identify the first few steps and begin the task. Your interest and feeling will suddenly appear and follow you through.

Do write your comments after you have tried it out.