Business Productivity

How to make fast decisions with this one, insanely easy process

- December 6, 2016 2 MIN READ

My son sat there, brows tangled, forehead furrowed. His clothes were laid out neatly on the bed but he didn’t know whether to put them on or not. He had a bad headache and, as much as he wanted to attend his Year 6 graduation dinner, he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to pull through the night. He’d taken some pain relief but there was no guarantee it would kick in.

It turns out, just weeks before, I’d heard about a cool decision-making process called 10/10/10, where you ask yourself three questions to help you make your decision:

  • What are the consequences of my decision in 10 minutes?
  • What are the consequences of my decision in 10 months?
  • What are the consequences of my decision in 10 years?

I shared the 10/10/10 decision-making process with my son, who instantly and methodically worked through the questions out loud, based on the scenario of not going. “In ten minutes I’ll probably still have a headache and be relieved I haven’t gone. In ten months I’ll probably be annoyed that I missed my graduation. In 10 years though, I’ll regret it. I’ll have forgotten about the headache and just wished I’d celebrated the night with my friends. I’m going.”

He made the decision in less than 30 seconds when he’d originally been wrestling with it for ages. More importantly, the decision was firm and final, made quickly and confidently.  There was no delaying, doubting or dithering. It was done. He’d decided.

That graduation was six years ago, but I clearly remember the text he sent within 20 minutes of being in the function centre. “Headache gone. Having a gr8 time!”

10-10-10 saved the day!


I first heard about the 10-10-10 decision-making process from a business coach, and later found out it was created by American author, Suzy Welch, who wrote an entire book about it: 10-10-10: A life-transforming idea.

Suzy Welch had been using 10-10-10 to help her make many decisions in life, from whether to skip a meeting to whether to get a divorce. She did both.

How this process relates to business

This decision-making process can help in every area of business. Here are just a few occasions when it may come in handy:

You’ll decide on different outcomes to the person next to you, but with the 10-10-10 strategy, hopefully you’ll make those decisions faster and more resolutely.

So, next time you’re wrestling with a conundrum, harness the power of 10/10/10.  Ask yourself what the consequences of your decision will be in 10 minutes, 10 months and 10 years, and you’ll likely make a 10 out of 10 decision!

What are your thoughts?  Or, are you yet to decide? 🙂