I’m not normally one for self-help books, but when my friend Christine reviewed this one at her site Three Deep Breaths and then loaned me her copy, I gave it a try. It’s a short, light, very readable book in which Suzy Welch, who is among other things a columnist for O magazine, lays out a simple decision-making strategy she calls 10-10-10.
Here’ s the premise: when faced with a decision, you ask yourself, “What will be the results of this decision in 10 minutes? In 10 months? In 10 years?” The time frames themselves are completely arbitrary; the point is to look at the results of a decision in terms of the short, medium, and long-range effects, and clarify, according to your values, what is the best choice for you.
You might think that the process would always reveal that the long-term view is the most important one to consider, but Welch vividly illustrates that’s not always the case with the example of a colleague who worked ridiculous hours and never took vacations, postponing any time with his growing family in hopes of an idyllic retirement someday. Predictably, of course, the guy died before he ever got to enjoy a day of retirement — reminding us that while long-range goals are important, they shouldn’t always trump the day-to-day.
10-10-10 is a useful tool for evaluating decisions, and the book is a quick, engaging introduction to the process. Nothing deep, heavy or theoretical here, but it’s nice to have all the tools you can in the toolbox when it comes to making life decisions, and this is a good one.