CEO Lauren Irwin-Szostak Gives Insider Tips for Better and Faster Business Decision-Making for Entrepreneurs Stuck in a Rut

For many, decisions have to be made as early as waking up first thing in the morning. It could be choosing between getting up immediately and hitting the snooze button for five extra minutes in bed, whether to dress for possible rain later that day, or even what to cook for dinner. By the time those are figured out, the workday begins, and the pile of decisions to be made only grows in number – perhaps less personal, but whose outcomes affect not only the individual but the welfare of the team and even the business.

The everyday lives of people are peddled with micro-decisions such as these and many more, and it is far too easy for one to feel overwhelmed by the many judgment calls required on the daily. This can lead to unhealthy feelings of option paralysis, where overthinking takes over, and choices are left unmade. More so than the average person, this problem heavily affects entrepreneurs whose decision-making skills are vital for the success of their businesses.

As founder and CEO of Business Processes Redefined (BPR), Lauren Irwin-Szostak knows how paralyzing decision-making can be. She also knows how important it is to develop agility and assertiveness in the skill, lest wasting too much time on overthinking leads to painful consequences.

A top professional with over 30 years of experience in the call center, customer service, and receivables management industries, Lauren built BPR from the ground up in 2007 and served as its President and CEO right from day one. This level and variation of experience, coupled with the decision-making challenges that a role as demanding as hers naturally requires, has led her to develop an understanding of the harms of overthinking and tips to combat these properly.

Adopt a Problem-Solver Attitude

Understandably, mentally going through an endless number of doomsday scenarios about what could go wrong with every possible path to take may feel productive, but dwelling on the “what-ifs” too often only serves to waste precious and expensive time. 

Lauren suggests adopting a problem-solver attitude. This entails identifying the warning signs of overthinking and taking steps to shift focus on coming up with solutions to the problem as the problem appears to be, not as the mind imagines it could be.

“Training yourself in this way can help you be more present in the problem-solving process,” Lauren shared.

Three Questions to Ask Yourself

For this tip, Lauren takes inspiration from ’10-10-10: A Life-Transforming Idea,’ a book by author Suzy Welch. This posits a strategy of asking three key questions: “How will this decision affect me in 10 minutes? How about in 10 months? Or even, how about in 10 years?” Evaluating the impact of decisions helps make the process more structured and less overwhelming.  

Shut Out the Noise

With a cocktail mix of work emails, social media, boardroom meetings, zoom calls, and one-on-one sessions, the noise of everyday work life can prove to be a major stressor if not managed properly. This can worsen tendencies to overthink, ruminate, and freeze instead of act.

To combat these information overload-induced tendencies, Lauren suggests making it a habit to have a few minutes of alone time for peace and quiet for 20 minutes every day. There are also many short meditation guides online for those who want to explore it.

Embrace the Imperfection of the Process

This process is far from perfect and, like any learned skill, will take some time to master. Inevitably, there will be times when mistakes or setbacks will occur. However, this is a part of life, and especially of life in entrepreneurship, that should be accepted and embraced. It is helpful to realize that overthinking is a sign of caring deeply about the job or business, and the desire to resolve the overthinking tendencies is a stronger indication of that. 

With Lauren Irwin-Szostak’s tips, business owners can take steps to improve their enterprises immediately. To learn more about Lauren and Business Processes Redefined, check out their website.



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