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Today’s article is written by guest blogger, Marisa Gift.Marisa Gift,decision making,leadership skills,decision matrix,tools for decision making

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This week I found myself creating a trusty ol’ pro-con list to weigh a decision facing our family.  I’ve always been a fan of these lists when difficult choices come my way and I have a feeling people have been using this method of analyzing their worries for a long, long time.  In fact, this week’s worry principle from Dale Carnegie is just another version of the pro-con list in my eyes.  An oldie, but a goodie!

1. Get the facts
2. Analyze the facts
3. Arrive at a decision – and then act on that decision

Alan, my husband, and I used this method to solve a toddler issue this week, too.  Tyler’s bedtime has gotten progressively later over the summer and he has become an expert in stall tactics since moving into his “big boy bed” one month ago.  I finally reached my wit’s end on Tuesday night so Alan and I sat down and created a bedtime schedule for Tyler once he was asleep.

1. We gathered the facts: what needs to be done (bath, snack, teeth brushing, books, prayers, etc) and what is the ideal bedtime for Tyler (8:30)?
2. We analyzed the facts: how long does each of these activities take and how much “wiggle room” do we need for the inevitable diversions?
3. We arrived at a decision: the schedule is on paper!
4. We acted on that decision: We put the schedule into action the next night!

I am happy to report that Tyler has been in bed by 8:40 (much better than 9:00-9:30) for the past four nights since we initiated the new schedule.  This bedtime routine still isn’t perfect but it’s a huge improvement – and that’s what these principles, and life, are all about!

*Note from Mark Ellsworth:  A decision matrix is a great tool for helping make sense of complicated issues and decisions.  Check out this blog post on decision makinghttp:///gps/blog/bid/85378/Baseball-and-Decision-Making 


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