Data bombards you. We have more data than we ever did due to the internet and storage technologies such as the cloud. It’s great to slice the data every which way you can think of and create nice-looking reports that impress your managers. However, when it comes to decision making, you have to get to the point of making the decision. You’ll need to stop your data gathering and analysis and use what you have to decide.
Computers give you the ability to divide your data in a way that makes sense for you or your company. But, some people will spend hours deriving report after report, and none of them will get them any further in coming to a decision. They believe they need to see ten years of data instead of five. They need to see the impact of sales on each region, even though they are responsible only for one or two.
Data is an important component in the decision-making process. It can let you know who are your customers, how much they have bought, and it can even tell you who your customers aren’t. Information is also important to make confident decisions. Without the information, you could be shooting in the dark, and that is as bad as having too much information. Probably worse.
To help you overcome the situation of analysis paralysis or paralysis by analysis as many will refer to it, speak to your boss or the people who are going to be impacted by the data and your decisions. Ask them what they need from the data, and structure the reports around that information. Don’t include any other data in the report. If you can’t defend the position based on the data they asked for, it doesn’t belong in the report.
Don’t be a hero when it comes to analysis. You may be tempted to show a different level of data to that required as it may show better insight. But, if it isn’t within the scope of your decision, save it for future analysis. It is okay to let managers know that further analysis is possible. They may even extend the deadline and the scope of the project due to this extra information.
What’s more likely to happen, however, is they will increase the scope while keeping the deadline the same. In essence, you have just given yourself more work to do by letting them know about this extra data.
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When faced with decisions, you want to have the best information possible. Some people spend too much time trying to find as much information as they can, and they miss opportunities because of it. Information is a key component in decision making. However, sometimes, you simply have to decide and live with the decision without any information.
You don’t want others to view you as someone who makes rash decisions. You’ll lose credibility when you do this and people won’t take you seriously. However, you must prepare yourself for certain times where being decisive is necessary. For instance, you may be registering for classes at your college and discover that a few of the courses you were hoping to take are full. You are given other choices but are unsure of how that will fit into your overall plan. Do you enroll in those alternative classes?
A Gradual Approach to Healthy Eating
A healthy diet is the most important component of overall health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, changing your diet can be extremely challenging. It’s very rewarding in the short-term to eat unhealthy foods. It feels good to eat chips or a chocolate bar.
Broccoli feels good, but only when you look at yourself in the mirror six months in the future.
Change your diet and change your health for the better with these strategies:
1. Start with the end in mind. What is your ideal diet? This is important to figure out before going to the next step. Moving from your current diet to a ketogenic diet is very different than moving to a vegan diet.
2. Break the diet change into steps. Start slowly. Massive change is usually too challenging to maintain. Give yourself several months, if necessary, to completely change your diet. If you’re feeling even moderately uncomfortable, you’re going too fast.
3. Cut back on unhealthy foods. You can’t just add in healthy foods. It’s important to limit the unhealthy foods, too. Good foods add to your health, and unhealthy food steal it away.
4. Consider your beverages, too. Beverages can be loaded with calories and unhealthy chemicals. They’re easy to consume and don’t take up a lot of room in your stomach. Drink a lot of water and satisfy your thirst that way. Wean yourself off unhealthy beverages slowly.
5. Find foods you enjoy. If your new diet calls for nuts, find some nuts that you enjoy. If you hate cashews, don’t eat them. If you love apples, but don’t like bananas, then don’t eat bananas. Look for options that fit your diet that appeal to you.
6. Understand that perfection isn’t necessary. Is a couple of candy bars each week going to be a problem? Of course not. It’s not important to be 100% 2 perfect to gain all the health benefits a diet has to offer. If 90% of your meals conform to your diet, you’re doing extremely well. 80% is decent. 70% isn’t good enough.
What type of diet do you want to adopt? This is the important first step. Slowly adapt your current diet to match your new diet. This can take several months to do effectively. While it’s tempting to make rapid changes, they simply don’t work for the vast majority of the population.
Find foods you enjoy that support good health and keep your calories under control. That’s really the primary goal regardless of the specific diet.
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