Making a Decision

Making good decisions is the difference between success and failure in life. Using multiple time frames can improve your decisions dramatically. Get-It-Done Guy explains how. 

Stever Robbins
4-minute read
Episode #276

High achievers often focus too far ahead. They work too much, and ignore their families, hobbies, friends, and lives. Why? For that next promotion. Or to plan for retirement. Or to send the kids to college. Or to build up a nest egg that will someday hatch into a 12-foot tall cybernetic ostrich with super powers they’ll use to take over the world.

In this case, they’re so focused on preparing for the future that they’re missing the now. They could have a happy life with their family now. They could teach the kids to help raise their own college money, now. They could have hobbies and friends and lives now. I’m not so sure about the cybernetic ostrich, however.

Decisions based solely on the long-term may expose you to too much short-term risk. They can also blind you to noticing that most of what you want, you could already have if you weren’t ignoring the short-term. This is the whole premise behind my Living an Extraordinary Life presentation—it’s about setting long-term direction, but enjoying the short-term while you’re on the way.

When you are concentrating solely on the long-term, stop and take a look at the short-term and the present. You may already be able to get what you want. And make sure you have a short-term survival plan that will tide you over until the long-term arrives. That’s survival in every sense—financial, physical, social, and emotional.

Consider All Timeframes When Deciding

When making a decision, you want to be like Goldilocks: consider the decision using a timeframe that’s very short. Then reconsider with a timeframe that’s very long. Using that information, consider a third time, with a timeframe that’s just right. Then you’ll know if you want to have a contingency plan for the long term, a survival plan for the short term, or whether your time horizon is Just Right.

Decisions image courtesy of Shutterstock.


About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.