Quiet Your Mind to Avoid Making Impulsive Decisions


Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.

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Leaders are lauded for being able to make decisions quickly. But you don’t want thinking quickly to turn into acting rashly.

o One way to prevent this from happening is to create a short space between an event and your response to it. Putting off your reaction by even one second (though it may not sound like a lot) can save you from making an impulsive, irrational decision.

o But you won’t be able to find the mental space for that one-second pause if your mind is constantly under pressure. So give your mind a break. Turn off notifications on your phone, tablet, and laptop. Only check your email once every hour (or as often as needed for your job).

o And stop multitasking, which keeps your mind busy and reactive. Try to maintain focus on a single task, and notice when you find your mind drifting to something else — it’s a sign that your brain wants to multitask. When this happens, mentally shut down the superfluous tasks entering your thoughts and focus on what’s at hand.

Adapted from “Spending 10 Minutes a Day on Mindfulness Subtly Changes the Way You React to Everything,” by Rasmus Hougaard, Jacqueline Carter, and Gitte Dybkjaer.

To check out that HBR article and join the discussion, please click here.

Also, you may wish to check out an anthology, Management Tips from Harvard Business Review, by clicking here.

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