Some really valuable points here for leaders and those with way too much on the platter. Two caveats (at least from an educator’s perspective): (1) It is good to narrow choices but one better like those choices — whether its restaurants or clothes or foods. If one dislikes gray initially or after a bit, gray suits will aggrevate not help and that aggrevation is draining; and (2) new situations and new decision requirements come up all the time; there is no planning for them and they are not all in the morning. So, one needs to stay sharp, recognizing the risks presented in the parole officers’ study, 24/7. That’s hard. Getting enough sleep helps. Self-awareness helps and pausing before deciding. Hitting the pause switch is underutilized.

One added point here: not all decisions are of equal import. Sometimes it just matters that one decide. Other times it truly matters what one decides. One of my mentors said: as a college president, you will be asked to make 20–30 decisions a day (at least). Of those, only 5 or 6 really matter. The hard part is knowing which are those 5–6. True indeed.

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Author, Educator & Commentator; Former President, Southern Vermont College; Former Senior Policy Advisor, US Dept. of Education; Former Law Professor

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