22 July 2013

Use The 10-10-10 Rule To Make More Gutsy Decisions



56 Degrees


Leadership and management


Many people have to make difficult or, what they consider, dangerous decisions everyday. Using the 10-10-10 rule as a sanity check will enable you to look at the decision and the risks that it actually involves, logically. This technique is used by many online writers who have to decide if the content that they write is too risky or will backfire on them when published.

The 10-10-10 rule is all about taking a step into the future to imagine what the decision ‘meant’ when looking back on it. The time intervals you imagine are 10 minutes, 10 days and 10 years. Most decisions that, at the the time, seem very risky and likely to cause you trouble are insignificant when you imagine looking back on them from 10 years in the future.

Before making one choice or another, consider how you will feel about your decision in:

  • 10 minutes – if the route you want to take already seems like it won’t actually cause you any problems then it’s almost definitely the right choice.
  • 10 days – if the decision seems OK after 10 days then try to analyse where the risks are and weigh these risks up against the positives and what you are trying to achieve. The chances are your decision is probably still the right one.
  • 10 years – if after 10 years your choice is something that still has negative effects then it is probably not the right choice to make.


It is very unlikely that any day to day, or even significant, choices which do not have an obvious answer will still have a negative impact on your life in 10 years time. We often panic about making decisions on the spot or ‘in the now’, take a step back and think about what impact they will really have and make the choice.

Can you think of a choice you have had to make in day to day life that will still be affecting you in 10 years?