How many decisions can you make in a day?

I’m not going to spout some Steve Jobsism and ask you to wear black polo and blue jeans everyday, hang on. 

“Which colour do you prefer?”, “Arial or Helvetica?”, “First person or third person?”, “Is today too soon to follow up?”, “is today too late to follow up?” and the very widely dreaded “how much do I quote?”

On a regular basis, you are making hundreds of little decisions each day and it can be exhausting. Decision fatigue is a real thing.

This is probably why you end up procrastinating on the bigger / important decisions. It’s easier not to follow up for money, or eat maggi for lunch, or send an email instead of picking up the phone and calling. But freelancing / entrepreneurship is not easy.

Here’s one simple trick I use to push myself to make hard decisions: Is this the right thing to do? 

This doesn’t have to be some self-righteous answer. Just what you believe in and what works for you. Let’s try some examples.

  • Say an online community wants me to speak at their event for free, but they charge an entry fee from the audience. The decision is no — I don’t have to keep making this decision again and again. I know what my version of ‘right thing’ is here.

  • Or when a manufacturing company reaches out to you, and you’re a travel writer. It isn’t a fit for the business you’re building, decision made!

  • Or a client asks for a meeting on Sunday. No exceptions.

  • Or CA suggests we skimp on some tax by writing up some vouchers. It’s not technically illegal, and very difficult to get caught. Well?

Every time a decision like this comes your way, identify what the ‘right thing’ is to you. So, the next decision is easy to make. Also helps immensely when it’s the thing you don’t want to do.

P.S: This method has a huge risk of making everything an existential issue. Beware! 🙂