How good are you at decision making? It’s a strange question but something that has the potential of making a huge impact on all areas of your life. In short, it’s a question well worth pondering.
Why is decision making such an important skill?
It’s because it affects every area of your life. Let’s start with your job or career. The higher you move up the corporate ladder, the more responsibility you get. In turn, that means that you have to make more decisions, make them quickly, and of course make the right choices. It’s no wonder that decision making is one of the most critical skills we look for in anyone in a leadership position. Improve your decision-making skills, and you improve your chances of moving up into a leadership position. That should mean more money, and potentially more job security (provided you keep making great decisions).
Now let’s look at your personal life. The decisions you make there also have a significant impact. Choosing the right spouse can have a massive effect on the years to come. So does your choice of where to live and what house to buy for example. It will impact your children (depending on how good the school systems are in your town), and of course, it will affect your net worth as real estate values go up or down.
But it isn’t just the big decisions that have a big impact on our quality of life. It’s also the small stuff, like picking the right foods to eat that stop you becoming overweight and adding to your health risks. It’s also making or not making little everyday purchases that can either lead to a mountain of consumer debt or a sound and secure financial future.
Do you see how your decision-making skills have an impact on just about every area of your life? For example, the decision to use your time wisely will determine how much free time you have. Time for activity and fun with loved ones or enjoying your favorite hobby.
3 Tips To Help You Make Decisions More Quickly
There comes a time when you’re asked to make a decision very quickly. Are you ready and prepared when that happens? Or do you take your time and agonize over each choice. Yes, there are situations when each choice needs to be weighed up carefully before making a final decision, but there are also plenty of circumstances that warrant quick decision making.
Being able to make decisions quickly also saves you quite a bit of time and allows you to get more done. Let’s look at three simple tips that will help you get into the habit of making decisions quickly.
Cut Down Your Choices
The more choices you have, the harder it will be to decide and the longer it will take you. When faced with a multitude of options your first step should be to narrow down that list. Get rid of the definite “no’s” and your least favorite options. From there keep at it until you have a manageable number of choices left. Don’t be afraid to be ruthless. You’ll be able to make that decision much quicker in the end.
Go With Your Gut Feeling
We rely on our conscious mind a lot of the time. But as it turns out, more thinking and processing goes on in those beautiful brains of ours, without us even being aware of it. Your subconscious does a lot of work, don’t ignore it. Learn to tap into that and start trusting your gut feelings.
When you are facing a complicated decision, that needs a quick resolution, try going with your gut and see where that leads you. As you learn to trust your gut instinct more and gain more life experience overall, it will often lead you down the best road.
Use A Countdown Timer
Last but not least, let’s talk about my favorite tip. That is to put yourself under a bit of pressure with a countdown timer. Use a kitchen timer, or open an app on your phone and set a timer. Perhaps set it for between one to five minutes. Force yourself to make your final decision before the timer goes off. It speeds things up a lot. It forces you to focus and become clear about what you should do. Try it. It works well.
I hope these simple tips will help you speed up your decision-making process and in particular get you out of procrastination mode. When you’re dreading making a decision and keep putting it off, come back to these tips. See which one helps you to make that decision and so move on.
3 Tips To Help You Make Better Decisions
Speed isn’t everything. Sometimes we need to take our time and weigh all our options up to make a good decision. That is particularly important when the decision you’re making has long-term or far-reaching consequences attached to it. In today’s article, I want to share with you my three favorite tips for making better decisions.
Write Down A Pros and Cons List
Whenever there’s a tough or complicated decision to make, one of your first steps should be to write up a pros and cons list. You may feel like you have a good overview of everything involved, but there’s nothing quite as clarifying as having it in front of you in black and white.
The process of making a list forces you to consider all aspects and possible outcomes. That results in you making better decisions based on all the applicable facts. You’ll find the exercise very clarifying. Don’t be surprised if an obvious choice stares you in the face by the time you’re done making your list.
Come Up With A Few Alternatives
Another great strategy to make better decisions is to weigh up all your options and come up with a few different possibilities or alternatives. Often you can get around disadvantages or things you don’t like about the obvious choice by getting a little creative and thinking outside the box.
Before you make an important decision, get in the habit of thinking through a few different alternatives. Choose the best one and move through the rest of your decision-making process. As you use this strategy of coming up with alternatives, you’ll get better at it and start seeing the bigger picture and different ways to reach the end goal. That’s a good skill to have both during decision making, and also throughout the rest of your life.
Talk To Trusted Advisors And Get Input From Team Members
Last but not least, I want you to realize that you don’t have to go it alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for input about the decision you’re about to make from trusted advisors, mentors, and even the people that will be affected by your decision.
There are a couple of reasons why you want to talk to both groups of people. Advisors and mentors can help you because they have been in the same or similar situation. Tap into their experience, hear what they have to say, and then use that information as part of your decision-making process.
Involving people affected by your decision makes sense for two reasons. The first is that you get another perspective on the situation and may discover some advantages and disadvantages you haven’t thought of yet. The second (and perhaps more significant reason) is that by making them part of the process, they will be more likely to feel ownership in the decision and thus support you more in the implementation. Try it. It works.
Have you heard of decision fatigue? You may not be familiar with the term, but I’m sure you’ve experienced it in the past. It’s that feeling after a long and taxing day when you can’t possibly make another decision, even if it’s something simple like what to pick up for dinner, or what movie to watch on Netflix.
As it turns out, we are given a limited amount of decision making capability every day. Think of it as a liquid in a bucket. Each time you make a decision, liquid drains from the bucket. Big and complicated decisions take more liquid out, small ones just a little, but it all adds up. If you’re running on empty at the end of the day, it’s hard to make choices, particularly smart ones.
That explains why we’re perfectly capable of sticking to a healthy diet in the morning and through lunch, but snack on anything we can get our hands on at night. We’ve used up our willpower and good decision-making capabilities.
Thankfully that ability – or the bucket of decision making – refills overnight while we rest and sleep. We wake up in the morning recharged and ready to make smart decisions. The key to avoiding decision fatigue then is to use that resource wisely. We can do this in a few different ways.
The first is to just cut back on the number of decisions we make on a daily basis. We do this by creating habits and routines. When something becomes a habit, we no longer have to make a conscious choice. You don’t have to choose to brush your teeth in the morning. It’s just something you do. Find ways to work routines and habits into your day. Rotate through the same handful of outfits and create a meal plan for example.
Another good option is to cut decisions out of your life that you don’t need to make. You can delegate tasks to someone else or get rid of a redundant project. Examine what you’re doing, particularly at work and see how many potential future decisions you can cut out of your life completely. At home decluttering is a great example. If you donate unwanted or unused items or throw them away, you no longer have to worry about where to put them or store them.
These strategies may seem like small things, but they add up quickly and help you avoid decision fatigue going forward. Focus on simple and small changes and give it a try.
Why It Is Important That You’re Confident In Your Decisions?
Let’s talk about confidence. More specifically let’s take a look at why it’s important that you’re confident in your decision making. When you’re confident, it’s not only easier to make decisions, it’s also easier to implement them going forward. You’re not worried or scared that you made the wrong choice. You’re not constantly second-guessing yourself. Instead, you’re focused on implementing and making progress. That’s a great thing and not the only reason why it’s important that you become confident in your decisions. Here are a few more.
When You’re Confident, You Make Decisions Faster
When you have confidence in yourself and your decision-making ability, you tend to make decisions a lot faster. Since we are required to make more decisions than ever before on a daily basis in this information age, this has become an important skill. The average person in a leadership position makes close to 100 fairly important decisions a day. That’s a lot, and the faster you can make them, the quicker your team can get to work, and you can move on to everything else in your busy day (or the next important decision). It’s no wonder that fast decision-making skills are high on the priority list when it comes to hiring and promotions.
When You’re Confident, You Make Better Decisions
Confidence comes from experience and being well informed. It’s no wonder then that we make better decisions when we’re confident. As a bonus, we’re less swayed by the opinions of others and don’t second guess ourselves. We don’t end up choosing an option for the sake of gaining approval from others or causing less stir in our team or the company.
Instead, confidence gives us focus. We can look at the facts, weigh up potential outcomes based on experience and come up with the best objective decision.
When You’re Confident, Others Are More Likely To Trust In Your Choices
Last but not least, let’s talk about perception. When you’re in a leadership position, you need others to trust in the decisions you’re making. Being confident in your choices starts to establish that trust. Others won’t second guess your choice or grumble about what you’re asking them to do. Instead, they trust in you and your decision. That will help greatly when it comes time to implement your choices.