10/10/10 and 3/3/3

decisiveAnother concept/tool written about in Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work is called 10/10/10. Apparently, it was invented by Suzy Welch who has written a book by the same name. I’ll put it on my list of books to read.

Per Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work “To use 10/10/10, we think about our decisions on three different time frames: How will we feel about it 10 minutes from now? How about 10 months from now? How about 10 years from now?” You’ll have to read the book for more detail, but I know it’s a tool that will definitely improve your decision making.

I’ve used a similar “tool” for years now. I call it 3/3/3. I don’t know if I read about it somewhere. Probably. Or maybe it’s my own invention! Rather than a decision making tool, 3/3/3 is a tool to help you sort the wheat from the chaff; a tool to help you know if something is worth getting your feathers ruffled over.

It goes like this: Will this problem/event/issue matter to you in three days? How about three months? How about three years?

Three Days: Having a lousy customer service experience can make us see red, but it probably won’t even matter to you in three days. So, get over it!!

Three Months: Your kid having a fender bender can be both expensive and frustrating. Your irritation will, most likely, last longer than three days. 😉 But it probably won’t matter to you in three months. Really. So, don’t let it get to you (much).

There are probably issues that last longer than three months, but won’t matter to you in three years. A fallout with a friend comes to mind. Until a few years ago, this had never really happened to me. Then it happened not once, but twice. Both definitely did matter three months into the “events”, so maybe they qualified as things to get upset about. In any event, I did lose lots of sleep over them. I can say, happily, that both were resolved well before three years and, if anything, I’m stronger, though less trusting, because of both. I truly wish they hadn’t gotten to me as much as they did and will try to remind myself that all ended well should something similar happen again in the future.

Three Years: Finally, there are the things that will matter three years later. An infidelity or break up of a marriage. An illness. A death. In fact, three years might just be the start of your suffering. These are the things to worry about. Hopefully, there won’t be many of them.

Don’t waste your time on the first two threes.

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