Create a document that records the date you made a decision, what that decision was, and why you made it. You can also leave room for comments about what happened as a consequence of the decision or add more data such as the primary topic or subject, what prompted you to make the decision, or anything else. You can update it in real time, or spend a few minutes each day reflecting on the previous twenty-four hours to note any big decisions you made.
This tool was mentioned in Getting Things Done (1.7), where it was suggested you spend time each day ensuring you update your Decision Log. However, having this log is only useful, if you review it on a regular basis. You can, when you’re on the verge of making a decision look up previous times you were concerned with your current topic and review the outcomes from earlier decisions. But setting aside time every three or six months will help you see patterns or trends in your decision making that can help you, from a more general perspective, arrive at better decisions.
For example, if you are actively investing money in a fund, you could track your decisions for choosing where you’re making investments and how much you contribute. But you can also record decisions like, “I want to build better relationships with fund managers.” Decisions like that second one, when reviewing it, help you remember to keep those connections.
Note: decision logs are only one of a number of logging techniques you can use (general names: Captain’s Log or Log Your Life). I’m tempted to enlarge/generalize this tool a bit to include Decision Logs as one of the options, but present others options as well. This might be out of scope for what we’re doing here, but I at least want to explore in a paragraph or two a few more logs.
1. Hmm, I think we can at least link to the Morning Pages tool as a similar-but-different logging activity.
2. Mood tracking (especially relevant for me as someone with bipolar)
3. Activity tracking (diet, did I meditate today, exercised etc. I use Daylio app for that – not sure whether I want to recommend it directly here or not)
4. Day summaries. Every day note down in one sentence how was today and/or what your intentions are for tomorrow.
(Of course these can be combined. The daylio app I use combines some of these in one logging system)