A few days in to the Dice Man experiment, some remarkable things have happened:
On Monday – my first weekday off work in 2013!
On Tuesday, I used a surprise spare hour early in the morning to go and get a decadent breakfast rather than launch into my work. My whole day felt indulgent from then on!
On Wednesday, I burned the midnight oil for the first time in months
On Thursday, I was tired (see above), but still went on a night out I was thinking of ‘bailing’ on.. and had my first beer in four months and lots of fun.
A lot of people are asking me how, when and why I am using the dice. so here’s my answer to each of these three questions…
I have 2 dice, but mainly I’m using one (carrying two just seems more satisfying somehow!). When there’s a decision that I need to consult the dice about, I try to summarise into 2, 3 or 6 answers. If there’s a bias in my thinking, I reflect it in the dice, or ignore it in the dice, depending on the moment.
Since one of the purposes of the month is to look at decisions, I am using the dice only when there is a decision that brings a moment of indecision. These can be big or small.
“Feeling like there’s lots to do, yet feeling like I need a day off”. Dice.
“Ugh, they don’t have my usual non-alcoholic beer (I’m teetotalling at the moment for marathon training, in case you are British and hence need to know why). Shall I have rank Pepsi from the tap? Why don’t I just have one beer, it won’t hurt”. Dice.
The purpose is explained in my previous hypothesis post, but here’s what I am finding so far is the answer to the why – and what I’m hoping the rest of the month will bring.
Liberation from indecision
Indecision affects us all. Someone told me this week that every single thing in their life was easy to decide and there would be nothing they’d need to put to the dice. I said (only half-jokingly) “then you need a more interesting or abundant life!”.
Indecision affects even those whose job is making decisions. Barack Obama talks here about how routine and only 2 choices of suit leaves him liberated to focus on bigger and more important decisions. Thank god!
A sidenote here is that I only own black underwear and socks, I only have 2 colours of business shirts and I own four pairs of exact same trousers for similar reasons, so if Mr President needs a new productivity advisor, he knows where to come.
The liberation from indecision I have experienced this week hasn’t confined itself to the dice. The dice allow a decisiveness to develop in the rest of my thinking just by their suggested existence. “Make a decision immediately, or you lose control to the dice”. Which, to someone with quite an introverted and reflective decision-style like me, can feel as terrifying or even more terrifying as actually putting things to the dice.
And the dice step in when they need to, reminding me that indecision is the enemy of action and action – even occasionally the wrong actions – is surely better than procrastination. And some of the highlights and richly experienced lowlights of this week came as accidents from the dice.
Indecision? Just roll the dice and move on.
Life is too short to worry about trousers, especially when there’s a whole world of bigger and better decisions out there.
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Find out more about Luke Rhinehart, author of The Dice Man
In search of The Dice Man: The Independent
8 Traits of Ninja Decision Making thinkproductive.co.uk
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