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A cure for procrastination: Surgeon combines diverse background in decision-making framework

Medical professionals are routinely called upon to make choices with serious consequences for their patients. In his first book, a Woodbury, Minn., doctor uses his background in medicine to help readers make better decisions in all walks of life.

Procrastinating can mean lost opportunities in relationships, careers and personal growth, said Dr. David Almeida, a vitreoretinal eye surgeon and entrepreneur. In "Decision Diagnosis: Seven Antidotes to Decision Procrastination," Almeida combines techniques used by doctors with his experience in research and business to create a decision-making framework.

Dr. David AlmeidaAlmeida's plan calls for making a PACT — practice, assess the problem, collect information and timing.

"The most useful is that 'P' word, practice," he said. "Whatever you're working on or whatever decision you're contemplating, approaching that with purpose and passion allows you to integrate who you are and uncover what is really being asked of you."

When it comes to timing, Almeida said he likes to use the inbox example.

"So many of us fight with our inbox and try to manage it, but so much of that is trivial," he said, adding it is important to triage the crucial decisions from the minor ones.

Otherwise, he continued, two things will commonly happen: Either people will put off making any decisions, or rush through everything without giving big decisions adequate time.

Distracted world

Though smartphones have made information more accessible than ever before, modern technology also brings with it added distractions and shorter attention spans.

"You can be inundated with so much useless information that it hurts the ability to be critical and effective in decision making," Almeida said.

He said the first step in developing decision-making skills is to be honest with what is being asked and uncover the main theme of the question at hand. "By getting down to the character of a decision or a problem, you can uncover what it's asking of you and what best decision will resonate with what you're trying to achieve," Almeida said.

"Decision Diagnosis" is available on Amazon.com. Almeida also runs a blog at www.davidalmeidamd.com.

Michael Brun

Michael Brun joined RiverTown Multimedia at the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2013, covering county government, health and local events.  He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls journalism program.

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