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A Decision-Making Strategy for Life

Embracing Falkland's Law: The Power of Non-Decisions


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I recently learned about Falkland's Law from one of my clients. Since then, I can't stop thinking about its simplicity: "When there is no need to make a decision, don't make a decision."


This powerful principle reminds us that not everything requires immediate attention or complex analysis. By embracing Falkland's Law, we free up valuable brain space for more important matters, enhancing our mental clarity.


The Wisdom of Falkland's Law


In the early 17th century, Lucius Cary, 2nd Viscount Falkland, asked: what's the difference between urgent and non-urgent decisions?


Many of us feel that every problem or question demands an immediate answer, leading to unnecessary stress and hasty decisions that might not be well thought out. By applying Falkland's Law, we learn to take a step back and assess whether a decision must be made at that moment.


The Benefits of Delayed Decision-Making


1. Reduced Stress:

Constantly making decisions can be mentally exhausting. By permitting ourselves to delay non-urgent decisions, we reduce the cognitive load on our brains. This reduction in mental clutter leads to lower stress levels and a clearer mind. In fact, a study published in the journal Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences found that high decision-making demands were associated with increased stress and anxiety levels.


2. Improved Decision Quality:

Taking time to make decisions can lead to better outcomes. When we rush, we are more likely to overlook important details or choose suboptimal solutions. By waiting until a decision is necessary, we allow ourselves to gather more information and consider different perspectives. Research has shown that taking a break before making a decision can significantly improve decision accuracy and reduce errors.

 

3. Increased Focus on Priorities:

 When we avoid making unnecessary decisions, we can focus our energy on what truly matters. Prioritizing allows us to direct our attention towards more significant and impactful tasks, leading to greater productivity and satisfaction.

 

How to Apply Falkland's Law in Daily Life

 

Identify Non-Urgent Decisions: 

Start by recognizing which decisions can be deferred. If a choice doesn't need to be made immediately, acknowledge it and set it aside for now.


Create a Decision-Making Framework

Establish guidelines for when decisions should be made. For instance, set aside specific times to review and address non-urgent matters, ensuring they don't continuously interrupt your workflow.


Practice Mindfulness:

Incorporate mindfulness techniques to help stay present and reduce the impulse to make unnecessary decisions. Meditation, deep breathing exercises, and mindful pauses can all contribute to a more deliberate approach to decision-making.


Seek Input When Needed:

If a decision is complex or significant, don't hesitate to seek advice from others. Input from trusted colleagues, friends, or mentors can provide valuable insights and help you make a more informed choice when the time is right.

 

Let’s alleviate stress, improve our decision-making quality, and focus on what matters. Falkland’s Law shows us that not every emergency requires immediate action. Pausing to ask yourself, is this even a decision I need to make, takes the burden off you providing the opportunity for mental clarity.  Falkland was right. Not everything is urgent.


 

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Marcy Stoudt Revel Coach Co-Founder

Marcy Stoudt is a seasoned sales leader dedicated to shaping the future of talent acquisition and executive coaching. As the founder of Revel Search and Revel Coach, Marcy collaborates with corporate clients to develop innovative strategies for attracting, advancing, and retaining top-tier talent.


During her 22 years at Allegis Group, Marcy was TEKsystems's first female Vice President. She led a team of 300 producers and delivered four consecutive years of revenue results at 18% CAGR, averaging $320 million annually. While at MarketSource, she established the Customer Experience Strategy for the Target Mobile outsourced sales team at 1,540 Target locations, fostering executive-level relationships with Target and Apple.


The Revel Coach™ Blog is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not mental health, financial, business or legal advice. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose, treat, heal, cure or prevent any medical, mental or emotional condition. The information presented here is not a guarantee that you will obtain any results or earn any money using our content.

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