December 19, 2011

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Decision review: Decision review

In September, I wrote about how I could get better at making decisions. I switched to organizing my decisions in a separate text file for ease of review, and I planned to ask myself the following questions after a quarter:

  • How many decisions have I written about?
  • How many decisions have I reviewed?
  • How many notes have I published?
  • How have I used my notes to help improve my decision-making?

Well, that quarter has passed, so let’s see how things turned out!

Since my blog post about decisions, I’ve posted nine entries in my decision category. Here’s how that breaks down:

  • described 1 pending decision
  • described 5 current / near past decisions
  • reviewed 2 decisions from a year ago
  • reviewed 1 decision from four years ago

There are eight decisions in my file that I haven’t published. Some of them are still being fleshed out, others are small, and a few are for private reference.

I find that the most helpful time is to write about decisions while I’m considering alternatives instead of long after the decision event, although I often wait to publish my notes until I have preliminary results. Decision roundups like this nine-decision review are fun to write, too, and my text file makes it easier for me to see which decisions are current and which ones I’ve archived.

I like writing about decisions. Formally describing the alternatives I’m considering helps me identify and test more of them. The same goes for assumptions. Writing down my reasons for a decision lets me go back and review them, and it also helps me calibrate my decision-making once I figure out the results.

Many of my decision-related posts have led to conversations where I’ve either helped someone else make a better decision or I’ve received tips from other people – and often both, and often within a few days of posting. Score one for sharing decisions.

Good decision. Would make again.