512. Expert Interview: More Effective Decision Making
Dr. David Almeida
David Almeida completed an Honors Bachelor of Science, specializing in Toxicology, at the University of Toronto. After undergraduate studies, he completed a PhD in Pharmaceutical Drug Research at the University of Szeged in Hungary. He went on to complete medical school and an ophthalmology residency at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada.
As an entrepreneur, David is co-founder of Citrus Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical company with an innovative approach to drug design and development, aimed to benefit individuals suffering from vision loss. His best-selling book, “Decision Diagnosis: Seven Antidotes to Decision Procrastination,” blends the spheres of medicine, science, business and leadership to present new concepts and strategies for successful decision making.
More Effective Decision Making
“I noticed friends, family, and other people I worked with like coworkers and colleagues from around the world, all had issues with decision making, especially with procrastination, or delaying decisions. I started putting together a different framework for approaching decisions because I have a unique blend of backgrounds. It’s a hybridization of medical, surgical and business techniques in a framework you can apply both to professional and personal decision making.”
Why Is This Important?
David distilled four core principles—drawn primarily from medical school—which you can use for decision-making in any context. “I call it PACT, because to be an effective decision maker, you have to make a pact with yourself to face up to problems and make decisions about them. PACT stands for Practicing, Assessing, Collecting information, and Triage.”
“Triage is the most useful one and the one I get the most feedback from. In medicine, triage is the process used to sort out what is life-threatening and what conditions can wait. Triaging your decisions into what you can deal with right now, and what you can put off for tomorrow, is really an important way to prioritize your decisions.”
What Is the Key Lesson Learned Here?
“Going back to triage, today there is such a rush to reach this Inbox Zero phenomenon. It pressures us to deal with all our messages right now. You end up getting bombarded with lots of things that really do not need your time right now. The ability to push something off, to say what should be done now and what can wait, is really key. Doing that gets you into a flow with your priorities. Some things can wait and some things you really don’t need to deal with. You don’t have to respond to everyone on every topic at every hour.”
Connecting With Dr. David Almeida
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