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Sunday, 13 February 2011

The Decision Book Challenge – Applying the Models Part 1: Buying Gifts

So impressed am I by the simplicity yet immense usefulness of the models in The Decision Book (click for review), that I have decided to launch on this blog The Decision Book Challenge. It is a challenge lasting one week, in which I aim to tackle daily at least one decision-making situation or problem that I come across by applying the relevant model from the book. I am quite excited about doing this, as there are quite a few things that I think I could improve and that I hope the book will help me to find more efficient ways of dealing with. At the end of each day I will post about the situation in question and the model I applied and evaluate how well it has worked, what the results of applying the model were, if any. By the end of the week I hope to be on the way to becoming a much better decision-maker, more in tune with my thoughts, myself, my work and others.

So without further delay, and to kick-start the process in a fun way, I will begin with the very first situation: purchasing gifts, how much shall I spend? With Valentine’s Day upon us, I reckon this model could be pretty useful for some of you, those who have yet to buy gifts and event those who have already bought (you still have time for last minute changes, it is Valentine’s Day right up until midnight tomorrow!) I think buying Valentine’s Day gifts is a really tricky one: you don’t want to come across desperate; you don’t want to come across cheap or disinterested; you don’t want to act like you’re showing off; and of course, the worst of all, you don’t want to splash out and find out that the other person didn’t realise you were buying each other Valentine’s Day gifts already! Well fear not, this handy little model compares the time that you have known the proposed recipient of the gift with the amount you should spend on the gift, giving you a good starting point to narrow down your gift options. It suggests a few key people in your life to give you an idea. Take a look below:

This diagram is actually quite useful and makes a lot of sense.  I personally want to buy a gift for someone I admire (not a Valentine’s gift though, honest) but I was not sure how to judge how much I ought to spend or if I ought to buy anything at all. For me, I have found that I haven’t known the person nearly long enough to buy anything particularly expensive, and in fact he amount I should spend is pretty low. Maybe there is no need to buy anything at all; perhaps I ought to find other ways of saying thank you.

What about those who will buy/ or have bought Valentine’s Day gifts. Have you spent too much? More importantly, have you spent too little? How would this model have helped you? I would be really interested to see if those who have yet to buy their gifts would try this guide and let me know how it helps.

Well that was a first simple example. More from me and my Decision Book Challenge during the week. Here’s to becoming better decision-makers!

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