The Most Important Decision for an Entrepreneur Each Day

Door Erno Hannink | Betere beslissingen

jan 26

On Jan 2nd, 2021 coach.me organized a great online event to start the year with momentum. Tony Stubblebine invited coaches that are connected to the coach.me platform to share their knowledge during this day. In total there were 63 presentations that day. You can watch one or more in the Momentum2021 playlist.

You can watch my talk in the video below.

Most important decision video

One of the tricky things about being an entrepreneur is running on other people’s priorities. Your clients determine the deadline for the next project and they cause delays due to the internal structure and processes. Your employees require your attention and support.

What does help you to get a better grip on your results?

Three topics in this talk:

  • The Struggle
  • Set priorities for your day
  • Decision book

The Struggle

  • You run out of time every day.
  • The important non-urgent actions are rescheduled every week until they are urgent.
  • You work hard in your company but it doesn’t deliver the results you are looking for.
  • When you have completed ten important actions for today, there are still seventeen more actions on your to-do list. It feels like you are always behind schedule.
  • You hardly get to the most important work that you need to do.

What’s going on here?

Two types of decisions (System 1 and 2 – Daniel Kahneman):

  • Unconscious – fast
  • Conscious – slow

Conscious decisions take a lot of energy from our brain. That is why you prefer to make as many unconscious decisions as possible. They hardly cost any energy. Based on what you are used to and what is coming your way you continuously make very quick if-then choices.

Note: in his research Kahneman also learned that entrepreneurs are overly optimistic that they will succeed.

Good habits

Most of the day, more than 90%, you make unconscious fast decisions. Most of them are habits, decisions and actions that you make and do over and over again. Habits are good for you because they consume less energy.  Habits are actions you do without really thinking about it.

When a habit contributes to our goal, we call it a good habit. So you want to develop as many habits as possible. Good habits.

Many books have been written about habits such as, Tiny habits, Atomic habits, Good habits Bad habits. The most important conclusion is that willpower doesn’t work. Here are the most mentioned solutions that do work to form new habits:

  • make the steps as small as possible – 1 pushup
  • Change the signals – All notifications off on your phone. The night before, have only the things on your desk that you need to start the next day.
  • Increase the resistance – do not bring unhealthy food into your home if you want to eat healthier. Put the phone in another room during your focus block.
  • Change the environment – say goodbye to a customer who demands a lot of attention. Join a running club.
  • Use a coach – someone who gives you a little nudge each time you’re about to deviate from your good habits.

Set priorities for your day

Most of the day is filled with habits. If you want to do the things that contribute to your goals, you consciously plan what you will do. Let your actions depend as little as possible on signals from outside.

You want to work as much as possible in the important / non-urgent quadrant. Stay out of the important / urgent quadrant. (Eisenhower matrix) Urgencies rarely give the best results.

Make room in your agenda to consciously think about things that are important to you. Such as what is the most important thing you will do tomorrow. Other decisions for which you consciously want to make room for are, for example, a new employee, coaching your employees, a different office.

Decision Book

The effect of a decision is outside of your control. It is therefore important not to judge the result, but the process. If you want better decisions, you improve the process. Writing down your decisions and looking back at the process after a couple of months will give you ideas where you can improve your decision process.

Let’s start with creating your decision book. For more difficult decisions that have a lasting impact follow the steps below to make a better decision and write it down for evaluating your decisions at a later time.

De Nederlandse uitleg over het beslissingenboek lees je hier.

1. What was the background?

What is the decision about?

2. Emotions

What emotions do you feel? Do you have a hunch? What does your intuition say?

3. Positive consequences

What’s good about it? Consider the pluses of the decision.

4. Negative consequences

What’s bad about it? Consider the minuses of the decision.

5. Interesting

What all comes to mind? Consider alternatives. What are the possible costs if you don’t decide?

6. eXpectations

What expectations do I have of a positive outcome of my decision?

7. Action

What actions do I need to do once I made a decision?

8. Evaluate

Schedule a follow-up in your calendar (for example 3 or 6 months later). Evaluate the decision-making process.

9. Premortem

Analyze what can go wrong after making the decision. Then write down how you can prevent all these failure situations. Scenario planning by Adrie de Geus.

10. Who can help?

Who can help provide other insights into the decision? Is there an experienced expert? Who can you turn to as the devil’s advocate to reveal potential problems?

11. A coach

A coach that will give you a little nudge every time you are about to deviate from your good habits. This can be done in person, online, or via an app (coach.me).

Thank you

Thank you Tony and coach.me for organizing this great event and publishing the videos of all the presentations at Momentum 2021.

Here you will find an overview of all the speakers at Momentum 2021.

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About the Author

Erno is de businesscoach die ondernemers helpt om de lange termijn doelen sneller te realiseren. Ondernemers die het beter willen doen voor de planeet, maatschappij en zichzelf. Met zijn ondersteuning en tips helpt hij je dagelijkse doelen te kiezen zodat je de lange termijn doelen eindelijk gaat realiseren. Test zijn coaching een week lang gratis uit met deze code ERNOHANNINKWEEK op dit platform -> ga naar coach.me. Sluit je aan bij de community van ondernemers die iets bijzonders doen.