Thinking about getting better at decisions

Posted: - Modified: | analysis, decision

I like analyzing my decisions. Writing about the alternatives I consider helps me think about them more deeply. Reviewing my decisions helps me learn even more. Sharing the decisions and the thought processes behind them helps me help other people.

How can I get even better at tracking and sharing my decisions? I want to get even better at remembering my reasons for decisions (useful during moments of doubt), revisiting my assumptions, and writing down additional benefits or costs.

I’ve posted the occasional decision review, but I think I’d benefit from something more structured than my blog. Maybe it’s time to resurrect some kind of a personal wiki system.

I’d like to have a system for logging and regularly reviewing decisions. I might prototype this using an Org-mode large outline text file. I already use it to write about the decisions I want to make or the decisions I’ve recently made. I can go back and write about other decisions I’ve made, and I can start structuring the file. Using Org Mode will make it easy to organize decision notes into an outline, integrate it with my task and calendar reminders, view table-based summaries, and publish snippets to my blog. If I get into the habit of scheduling reviews and thinking of questions that I might ask myself during a decision review, then I can learn even more from the decisions I make.

Decision: Write about decisions with more structure in Org and with regular reviews

Expected costs: Writing time (the software is free), occasional social risks of publishing decision notes

Expected benefits: Even more confidence in decision-making, ability to help more people with similar decisions, interesting records, fewer moments of doubt (very few already, but just in case!), deeper analysis

Alternatives considered:

  • Don’t write about decisions: Right.
  • Write only about major decisions: Small decisions are useful, too!
  • Keep decision notes just as blog posts: Hard to review over time.

Next review: In three months ( 2011-12-11 Sun)

  • 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?
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