Uncover your “Decision Units” and “Decision Capacity”
Learn to respect other people’s time
I might have learned this too late but I want to say a few things about time.
Time is precious and finite. And most importantly, other people’s time is also precious.
To maximize your own time, you must learn to respect other people’s time. Don’t waste someone else’s time just because you got the time on your hands. Respect others time is the first step of maximizing your own time.
“Decision Units”, “Decision Capacity” and “Decision Splitting”
What I mean by splitting decision time to shorten time you need to make any decision. It’s mathematical.
Say it takes you 1 minute to make a critical business decision that affects another party. And counter party takes 1 minute to respond back to you and you have to respond back within a minute, your typical response time.
In this scenario, you can only make one decision at a time with one party at a time.
This rarely happens.
Let’s make this scenario a bit more realistic. Say, it still takes you a minute to make a decision, but your counter party takes 3 business days. Trust me, that’s a miracle response speed in the world of entrepreneurs. Now, let’s do math:
There are 1,440 minutes in a day and 4,320 minutes in three days. We spent 2/3rd of time eating, drinking, sleeping and procreating. So that leaves 1,440 of productive minutes.
Going back to the scenario at hand. We take 1,440 minutes into 1 minute of your decision time, the result is what I call “Decision Units”. If you have a quick thinker as in “1-minute decision maker”, you can deal with 1,440 clients, employees, counter parties at the same time.
That is to say you have 1,440 “Decision Units” or 1,440 units of “Decision Capacity”.
If you are slower at making decisions, say 30 minutes. The “Decision Unit” math tells us that you have 48 decision units assuming everything being equal.
Understand your “Decision Capacity”
Now that you have an understanding of how to calculate your decision capacity and your decision unit. Let’s put it to work.
If you have a high decision capacity, meaning that you are a fast thinker up against monolith in the sky), you need a tool to keep track of all the pending decisions. If you have a great memory, you won’t have an issue. Otherwise get an app or an assistant to keep track of all the conversations happening simultaneously. This is the curse of a fast decision maker.
However to maximize your decision capacity of a fast thinker, try to make these decisions through chatting, e-mail or 5–10 minute increments of voice based conversation. This enables you to stay lean with your downtime in between decisions.
If you are on the other extreme. Where your decision units are single digits or worse in fractions, fear not.
If your counter party makes faster decisions than you or your decision making process is longer by nature. You need to delegate your responsibilities. To increase your “team decision capacity”.
Say it takes you an hour to make a decision, but your counter party responses within 30 minutes. Your decision unit is 0.5. You clearly need to have another party to delicate a some of your decision capacity to to increase your “team decision capacity”.
If you a lawyer, and your livelihood is time based, you may not care about your decision capacity. But if you are reading this blog, you and your company live and die based on your decision capacity.