ABC’s of quick decision making

When making  decisions, looking for a solution and evaluating circumstances, it  feels to me like is  ABC. That is having a plan A, B, and C and also creating my own strategy.  Simply put, I first try plan A and if A didn’t work quite right try B from a different angle and if B didn’t do it, it is then plan C. Three choices, three solutions, three scenarios, three potential outcomes. Of course if after trying Plan C I am still not happy, I don’t give up.  I try something else instead as there are as many potential plans as the number of letters in the alphabet.

I am NOT thinking of the consequences, though they do matter, but they may block my thinking if I am focusing on how bad it can get.  I am however, thinking in the desirable outcome that I want and start in that order. When presented with a problem, ask “what are my choices here?”  Do I A: ________, B_________, or C_________ in the order of preference, being C the least desirable approach.

Whenever a problem arises that need quick decision making, propose three potential solutions or choices to the problem as well rather than think of the consequences.  The solution lays right there on the problem. It is not complicated. In fact it could be just two choices instead. It is either this or it is that. To help narrow the choices and to make a solid decision, I ask myself “What is the worst case scenario?” Most of the time the worst that could have happen it is not as bad as one originally thinks.  My mind sometimes dwells too much in the uncertain paralyzing me from doing anything. Therefore I present my choices to the problem and move forward with the decision. TAKE ACTION!  I already made my decision and carry on with the plan until completion. No need to argue it, re-analyze or doubt it. The decision has been made, move forward and adjust as you go.

For example, My Dad had a bad mixer in the kitchen sink. Water was not coming out and He thought it was something caught in the pipe blocking the water from coming out of the faucet. He checked the line from the mixer and it was not blocked, so we thought it could be the water faucet mixer instead and needed to be replaced.

Here are our choices:

A-     The most preferable:  Fix the mixer in place with a repair kit.

B-      The other choice: Remove and replace the entire mixer on the spot

Now we analyze a bit:  the repair kit contains small components like springs and small rubber rings that are cumbersome to work with and it may not be the solution to the problem since we didn’t know where it was blocked. Under a closer look to the underside of the sink, we observed that the location and condition of the attachments were hard to reach and rusty. This will be difficult to work let alone to remove.  Then another choice is created:

C-      The least desirable: remove the entire kitchen sink and work from the outside. Now this solution was the least desirable because it meant to remove all the connections to the sink and the attachments to the counter top. However, this choice would allow us to see and easily remove the rusty mixer hardware from the sink. It also provides us with the right clearance to work and replace pipes and fittings that needed repair.

We opted for plan C because it was more work to remove the sink, but easier to remove the mixer once it was out and we were able to repair other items that were readily visible and otherwise hidden because of the sink’s location.

Now this was a simple matter, now that we were able to fix it right, but the ABC’s of decision making work in any situation. More importantly it allows focusing on the problem for a solution and not on the guessing of the consequences of what could have, should have or would have happened if no action was taken.