One of the biggest hurdles we've all dealt with in life is decision making. Whether the problem is poor decision making- unhealthy habits, personal or business relationships, or misused time. Or lack of decision making- remaining in unhappy situations, wasting time deciding on small details, and so on, decision making is by and far one of the most important, and yet overlooked, aspects of our lives- it essentially shapes everything within and around us.
Lifehack recently shared some useful tips to decision making to help us understand what is important, what isn't, and how to change and shape our best lives in record time.
1. Differentiate Between Big and Small Decisions
Give a decision only the time and effort that it deserves, based on its importance.
If the decision isn’t going to make any major difference to your life in a year’s time and there are no serious consequences that will come out of it (e.g., picking the wrong color for your post-it notes), then it is a small decision. Chill and let go. Spend as little time and effort as you can to nail it.
If a decision will create major impact in your life even after a year and there are serious implications from making the wrong choice (e.g., marrying someone you no longer feel right about), then that’s a big decision. Set aside proper time to think over it; delay if necessary.
For anything in between, give it some level of thought, but don’t let it drag for too long.
2. Identify Your Top Objective(s)
Before entering into the decision making process, identify your top objective(s) for this decision. Then, use that to guide you in your decision making. This will help you to arrive at a valid decision quicker.
3. Perfection is not the key; “Moderately okay” is
Unless it’s a life-altering decision, perfection isn’t the key. Your role is to pick a moderately okay decision in a fair amount of time, then move forward after that.
4. Eliminate the Bad Options
Next, eliminate the bad options. Having a flood of options can clutter up the decision making process, so eliminate the bad ones right away to make it easier to assess. Refer to your objectives for making this decision (see Tip #2), identify the options that will definitely not meet your objectives, and get rid of them.
The ones that are left should be the considerably good ones, which then allows you to make a more pinpointed assessment.
5. Pick One and Go — Don’t Look Back After That
If you are stumped by the options and you are not sure which one to pick… then just pick one and go. Don’t look back after that.
6. Let Go of Your Childhood Stories Surrounding Decision Making
If you constantly freeze in the face of decisions, and your paralysis seems to have a life of its own, then it’s possible that there’s a childhood story driving you to act this way. What is your childhood story for decision making? How can you let go of it?
7. Set a Hard Time Limit
Set a hard time limit for your decision. Your time limit should be based on the importance of the decision (refer to Tip #1). Since time is relative and every decision is different, there is no hard and fast rule on the limit. Personally, I limit myself to more than two minutes for small decisions and no more than a few days to weeks for mid-level decisions. For big decisions, technically I allow myself to take as long as needed, though I always come to a conclusion within a couple of months.
8. Delegate the Decision to Someone Else
This tip is a little sneaky since you are effectively removing yourself from the decision-making process and shifting the decision-making responsibility to someone else. However, it works if you trust the opinion of that person and you’re okay with not handling the decision.
9. Get the Opinion of Someone You Trust and Go with It
The second to last tip is to get the opinion of someone you trust and go along with it. This is slightly different from Tip #8 in that you still take ownership of the decision even though you’re basing it on someone else’s opinion.
10. Channel Your Energy into Other Things
If you are still in analysis paralysis mode despite the nine tips, it’s possible that you simply have extra energy that’s not being channeled into more meaningful areas!
Channel that energy into other tasks. Find more important tasks to devote yourself to. You’ll be much more productive this way; you’ll also find yourself getting clarity in your decision as you spend time away from it.
Read the full article here.
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