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If you’re going to get to your top-level decisions today, you need to cut the onion. Here’s how.

cut the onion

What is a top-level decision?

You’re going to make a lot of decisions today, from when to piss to when to go home. In fact, you’ll make thousands of decisions before this day is done. But few of the choices you’ll make today are top-level decisions (TLDs). Because TLDs are the ones which actually move the needle and give you measurable progress. The problem is, unless you’re ruthless, you may not get to a single meaningful decision today. Which will leave you feeling like crap as your day ends. Instead of making that mistake, cut the onion.

Cut the onion.

But first, a brief digression. I once knew a man who kept swimming goggles in his kitchen. And yes — I knew he liked to cook. Still, the goggles puzzled me. Until one day when he invited me to cook with him. And he gave me the job of chopping the onions. And then I got it. Because we all know that cutting an onion can be painful. But unless you pay the price and get to the core, your cooking suffers.

It’s going to cost.

It’s the same with TLDs. It’s going to cost you something to cut through to your most important decisions today. But unless you’re on vacation — and even sometimes when you’re on vacation — you need to get your priorities straight, or your day gets away from you.

How to cut the onion.

But here’s the trick. And you’re not going to like this. Because you’ve got to do some writing. That’s right, you’ve got to write. Why? Because you have way too much stuff in your head right now. And your brain is amazing, but it isn’t made to hold as much as you’ve filled it with. In fact, your brain is made mostly for deciding. So you cripple the most valuable part of your brain when you don’t use your brain for what it’s best at.

Shed your tears and move on.

So get out your list app or your sheet of paper, and write down the 10 most important things you need to do today. And then stand up, walk around the table, and sit back down at your list. Is there anything essential that’s not on that list? And sure — go ahead and laugh. This may sound silly. But unless you’ve done this intentionally, you’re not going to cut the onion today — and your day will suffer for it.

What’s number one?

All right. So once you have a valid Top 10 list for the day, put a 1, a 2 and a 3 beside the three most important items on that list of ten. What’s number one? Unless you decide to make meaningful progress on that one thing today — you’ll go home safe but sorry. Don’t make that mistake. Cut the onion. Then shed your tears and get out there. Make this day count. Need a little help? As a men’s life coach, I’ll help you get started. Feel free to contact me at I’ll be sure to get back to you.

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