Clear decision-making flows from an uncluttered mind. Knowing how to de-clutter your thinking can make or break your ability to make the right call.
When a decision is looming, it’s time for clarity. It’s the time for an ability to organize your thoughts, weigh the most relevant data and sift through the most important opinions.
But if instead, your mind seems to be a cluttered maelstrom of swirling, confusing and even contradictory facts and perspectives, you are suffering from one of the most debilitating conditions known to limit the effectiveness of leaders everywhere-
Your mind is cluttered.
But since just about every leader can find themselves dealing with a cluttered mind from time to time, how can you go about de-cluttering your thinking in order to make the right leadership call?
Here are four worthwhile starting points.
1. Maintain the discipline of reflection.
Nothing will clutter up your mind more that maintaining a break-neck pace, and squeezing out time for unhurried reflection.
For people of faith, this can take the form of periods of silent prayer. It can simply being still long enough to just think deeply at an unhurried pace.
Whatever your preferred practice of reflection, schedule times in your calendar to just slow down and calm your mind.
2. Ask lots of “What do you think?” questions.
This is one of the most powerful de-cluttering questions available to leaders. And don’t limit “What do you think?” only to the experts and senior leaders in your world. Great wisdom resides in the hearts and minds of the most unlikely of advisers.
3. Stop gathering information.
One of the best ways to keep your mind de-cluttered is to prevent additional clutter from creeping in.
In other words, when the time has come to make the call, stop gathering information. Stop researching. Stop assembling opinions.
4. Ruthlessly delete irrelevant data and opinions.
A cluttered mind leads you to incorrectly believe that you should be considering every piece of information that has drifted into your thinking orbit.
That is simply not true. It means having the boldness to identify factors that are simply not relevant and knowingly discarding these from your thinking. It means identifying less helpful opinions and choosing to disregard them.
The more important the decision, the more important it is to bring your freshest, boldest, and clearest thinking to the table.
So stop information gathering, and begin the process of mental decluttering.
Because clear decision-making flows from clear thinking.