Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, you have heard of the term “outsourcing” or some variation thereof (e.g. near sourcing, co-sourcing, off-shoring, etc.). Fundamentally, they all mean the same thing – basically, it’s “viewed as involving the contracting out of a business function – commonly one performed in house – to an external provider”.
Outsourcing, when used correctly, can yield tremendous benefits – some financial and sometimes more importantly, some intangible benefits, such as peace of mind.
So – what are some of the common things company’s (or even people) outsource? From a business perspective, you can outsource a myriad of tasks including, but not limited to, customer service, fieldwork / installations, contract manufacturing, etc. FedEx, as an example, actually outsources some of its delivery functions to individuals who “buy a delivery route” and act as a representative as FedEx.
From a personal perspective, you outsource your laundry, lawn care, and so many other tasks that you may not even really think twice about for the benefits listed above.
Now – what about “outsourcing your decision making”. Does that make sense? Well, In all fairness, it’s not really a new concept; rather, one that is not typically recognized when it’s being done or, more importantly, when it needs be done!
Let’s say that you have just experienced something traumatic – either at work or in your personal life – and that incident is, unfortunately, weighing heavy on your mind. In situations like these (e.g. traumatic, stressful, unknown, etc.), about the worse thing you can do is make important decisions thinking you are fine and capable when, in reality, your mind is not clear. If you were to lose your job – would you be in the right state of mind to make an important decision? How about if you lost someone you love?
So – what should you do? First – it’s important to take a moment and recognize what is going on. Being mindful of the situation will help ensure you are in control. Second – do your best to not react despite how inclined you may be to do so! Third – do not make any decisions without either (A), clearing your head (which may take some time and you may not have time on your side) and/or (B), outsource your decision to a third party (e.g. a friend or someone you implicitly trust that is capable of making an objective decision).
As it is, the situation you may be in is stressful enough and the last thing you need to do is compound the anxiety by making errs in judgment in other decision areas, which could cause additional pain, you are not prepared to deal with.
Keep in mind that both of these options above are not natural reactions – they have to be trained to become habit and that, in itself, can take a lifetime to master. However, the first step towards mastery is to be mindful of your situation and your options.
To your continued success…