Many Tiny Decisions, Every Day

You make many tiny decisions every day, on every project.

If you are not making them, you are facilitating the process.

Some you care about. Some you don’t. (AIWATT)

Think of the last project you were involved in. You had to decide what problem you were solving. What benefit you thought would result. You had to choose where to focus your attention.

Not making a decision, is a decision.

Each choice changes the destination. Did you succeed? Did you fail? Was the end product excellent, or just good enough?

Sure, blame the consultant that you hired. That was a decision you made.

The Basecamp that we have is the product of tens of thousands of little decisions, that all, at least in our eyes, matter. Because if they didn’t matter, then someone else would have to figure that out.

David Heinemeier Hansson from The Tim Ferriss Show

You have to choose who to include, and who to exclude.

You have to decide what features to include, and what features to exclude.

And you have to get other people to make decisions for you, or with you.

Did you get them right? Is there even such a thing as a right decision?

Did you spend too much time on a point you don’t really care about? If so, let it go.

I think there is a lot to be gained by being mindful of all these decisions. Some decisions are so automatic we don’t even notice them. Perhaps these are the most dangerous.

We have to rely on biases and heuristics to survive each day. We cannot scrutinise every single choice. Most of the time they work. But not always.

This is what drives much of my reading and my work. How do I personally understand a situation better? How do I see a different perspective? How do I understand my own biases and faults? How do I apply that to my work to help make sense of what is going on, and to help the people who need to, make better decisions.

It’s hard to imagine any business or social activity that doesn’t require a basic understanding of how the human brain perceives the world. Almost any decision you make is in the context of managing what other people will think of you. We’re all in the business of selling some version of ourselves.

– Scott Adams, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

Do you know when yours aren’t working for you?* Feature image courtesy of Natalie Fox on



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  1. Pingback: Thirty-Two | Playing with Perceptions

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