For the life of me I cannot remember where I heard this term or idea but like many things I absorbed it sat undisturbed in a recess of my mind, like that set of golf clubs you buy, use once then bury in the garage (ask my wife about this one).
It was called “micro-decisions”. The idea that we make tens, hundreds of decisions a day that feel like second-nature and just happen. I believe the term is mainly applied to the business world but can work equally as well here.
We tend to fret the “big” decisions, whether to quit a job, to buy that car, to break up with someone, to go back to university to study, to have children.
But this idea of the micro decisions resurfaced this week, as a consequence of gaining some routine back in my day to day life and tackling my mental health head on (again) with a toolbox brimming with strategies.
There is nothing profound in my thoughts, this is personally a work in progress. And just an observation that rather than avoiding “fretting the small stuff” perhaps we could pay a little more attention and focus on these moments:
- Getting up 10 minutes earlier in the morning to meditate, breathe, journal, or just taking a quiet moment versus scrolling through Instagram.
- Going for a walk around the park at lunch for 20 minutes at lunch instead of staying hunched over your desk.
- Not having a (generous) glass of wine with dinner that night and saving it for Friday.
- Resisting the temptation to make an unhelpful comment (eg. Bitching) in a seemingly harmless discussion.
- Not sending that shitty reply to a client that has screwed you but instead writing it in your notes section on your phone or saving in drafts. Revisit it an hour later and I guarantee you will be glad you didn’t send it. (The same can work for personal relationships)
- Having a tea over a coffee. Anxiety sufferers such as yours truly know how hard this is.
- Saying “I love you” to your family / partner / child before you leave the house in the morning instead of rushing out mindlessly.
- Choosing a salad instead of a burger for lunch.
- Smiling at someone you make eye contact with when you notice everyone around you looking glum on public transport.
- Reading books to your child for 20 minutes instead of watching the football / Bachelor highlights.
- Making that difficult call to someone that you are dreading.
And my favourite, one I am not sure I will ever master:
- Saying “it’s my fault” as a default response to everything and dealing with the issue right there, right now.
I would love to hear if any one has some examples to add of micro-decisions that could / should / are making daily, even hourly?