The cost of doing vs debating

1Making tough decisions are an integral part of life; both at the workplace and at home. One such decision we end up making regularly is when to give in and say ‘yes’ to things we don’t want to do or agree with. It an art that I struggled to master for many years. Too often, I have ended up debating and protesting for hours altogether only to end up having to do it anyway. Even worse, it has left behind many a strained moments. Many articles, videos and people constantly tell you to stand up and say ‘No’. In my opinion, they are all wrong. There is a time to say Yes and a time to say No. Confused what to do when? Let me introduce you to the “Do-Debate Work Model.”

There is always a cost associated with everything. The costs that you need to keep in mind while taking on work that you don’t agree with is the cost of doing and the cost of debating. The simple rule of thumb is – when the cost of debating is greater than the cost of doing, just do the job!

do debate

In case the matrix is not self-explanatory (I am terrible at making pretty boxes), let me take a minute to explain it. When the cost of doing is low, it may be a good idea to just do it vs investing time in explaining why you shouldn’t. It not only saves effort, it also gives you ammunition to refuse the next time. Use these opportunities to build a good rapport with people and not come across as someone who always says ‘No’. When the cost of doing is high, explore spending time to explain why you shouldn’t be doing the task. But! Always. Always make smart tradeoffs. At any point, if the cost of debating exceeds the cost of doing, just do it. Don’t waste time or energy whining or debating.

Now I understand that this may not an ideal model. What I can say is that it is a helpful one. Even if you don’t follow the model to the ‘T’, it’s a good idea to remember ‘the cost of debating vs the cost of doing’.  I’ve learnt it the hard way. If I can save you from going down treacherous paths, I might as well.

Good luck! & do let me know how this works for you. Maybe we can make it the next big thing. What say?

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