The Rules For Managing Difficult Decisions

Decision making is an inherent part of everyday life. It is something we do every day both consciously and subconsciously. However, this does not mean it is always easy to decide on things or events. Sometimes it can be very tough to make some decisions either at work, in relationships, businesses, and other aspects of life.

Let’s say that you are an entrepreneur launching a new business and you are looking for an office hardware and supplies partner, making a decision will have a huge impact on your expenses and your ability to continue managing your office.

Truth be told, some decisions are generally hard to make. Also, the differences in personality either make these decisions harder or easier for different people in the same or related situations. The reasons why some decisions are tough to make is not farfetched. Some of these decisions potentially change people’s lives completely or affect some important aspects of their lives. Many times what we fear is the result of these changes and the extent of their impact on our lives. Some kind of comfort might be offered in knowing that we are not the only ones who find it difficult to make some decisions but how then can we deal with this. The 10/10/10 rule has proven to be a great way to make decisions that are tough.

The 10/10/10 rule

The 10/10/10 rule was invented by Suzy Welche when she was faced with difficult decision-making situations herself. The author and former editor said that the idea was birthed when she was trying to balance work and family and on a fateful day when she had to make an important decision regarding this. She explained that to make tough decisions, one has to answer these three questions:

  • How will you feel about it in 10 minutes from now?
  • How will you feel about it in 10 months?
  • How will you feel about it in 10 years’ time?

The whole idea is to look into the future both far and near and weigh the consequences of the decision. This is a great way to avoid making irrational decisions in the heat of the moment. The 10/10/10 rule helps to not only make best decisions for the nearest future but also beyond that. The rule is however not limited to its literal connotations. The first 10 which stands for 10 minutes can be interpreted to mean right now or any moment from now. The second 10 can also be interpreted as a time that is somewhat later but is very much considerable in the consequences of the decisions and the last 10 can mean a relatively latter time in the far future. So 10/10/10 can actually be used to mean different times other than what they stand for literally. Only the concept should be strictly adhered to. 

Applying the 10/10/10 rule

The 10/10/10 rule is not only applicable to finding a balance between work and family or business and family as the case may be like how Suzy came up with the concept. It can be applied to almost every tough decision like work, relationship, career, and other things that are not easy to decide on. Take a pause and look at your proposed relationship, is it really what you want right now? Will you still be happy with it in some months? Do you think you can put up with your partners’ shortcomings beyond months and few years? When you have honestly answered these questions which have employed the 10/10/10 rule even if it is not verbatim, there lies your decision. You are currently feeling overwhelmed and you feel like quitting your job and selling a few things than fly around the world. Trust me, it is a great idea, one a lot of people would love to execute but remember everybody is not the same. So you must tailor these questions to your specific situation, background, and expectancies. Again, this is what you want right now. Is it? Okay, that’s cool, in some months; would you want to be on that trip? And also in years to come, do you still see yourself as the adventurer that you feel like right now? Considering a career choice can also be a tough decision to make because you know this means I have to work in this particular field maybe for life. So you might want to ask yourself if that is what you are happy with at the moment. Then will you still be happy doing this in some months? What if in 10 years or more, will it still give you the satisfaction you hope to derive from it? None of these questions are trying to dissuade you, rather you have to answer them yourself to arrive at a decision. As a matter of fact, you may not need to answer these questions and you can easily come up with yours just be sure to factor in the 10/10/10 rule. Then answer these questions truthfully and there you have your tough decision made easy.


The 10/10/10 rule is a great way to simplify decisions that are otherwise tough and usually high impacting and it is based on a simple concept of considering the future in the nearest, intermediate, and farthest timeframes. This has been proven to help a lot of people make good decisions and should help you likewise.

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