When I was leaving New York recently to relocate to Northern California, a client of mine gave me the book, 10-10-10: A Fast and Powerful Way to Get Unstuck in Love, at Work, and with Your Family by Suzy Welch. My client knows that my trademarked approach to productivity, DECIDE to be Organized, examines the connection between disorganization and indecisiveness. I am fascinated by decision making, both as it relates to productivity, and in general. So this book was a great match for me, and I was very much looking forward to reading it.
And it did not disappoint. The 10-10-10 approach asks the reader to examine the impact of a decision in 10 minutes, 10 months and 10 years. The actual time frame is not really a hard and fast rule. It is really more of an overall guide to look at the impact of decisions in the present, the near future and the distant future. The process of doing so allows you to take your time, look at all angles, and not just make a knee-jerk reaction.
What I liked in particular, however, were the stories of people that have successfully used 10-10-10 to make decisions in all areas: career, parenting, relationships (both romantic ones and friendships), and life in general. The stories are wonderful illustrations of real life people making tough decisions using the process. They really drive home the approach, how it works, and how effectively it can work. The process is more than just examining a decision against time, of course. It also involves phrasing the question correctly in the first place to get to the core decision. Often, we tend to mire down our “decision” with so many extraneous details that it makes it hard to find the real decision that we need to decide on. Ms. Welch uses a values excavation in 10-10-10 to help readers recognize the values behind their decision making and then look at the decision will impact those values in the present, near future and distant future.
If you are fascinated by decision making and want to learn a new approach, I suggest you check out the book. It includes stories, exercises and some research (although it is not a heavily researched book, as Ms. Welch created the 10-10-10 approach herself). It is a handy tool for looking at decisions in a different light.