Wellness Wednesday

January 22, 2020

Tips for Making Good Decisions

Decision making isn’t easy. Especially when you have multiple options to choose from. With all choices being equal, you may find yourself stuck in a case of paralysis by analysis. A situation where every option looks like the right one, but if you choose incorrectly it can be a fatal error. It is imperative in these situations, however, that you make a decision and move forward. And while it may seem that each decision is incredibly valuable – that with a wrong choice, a wrong move, you may plunge into turmoil at any second – that’s really never the case.
Big picture
While there are multiple factors to consider when making decisions, the actual decision making process is fairly straightforward.

Take a look below and discover the 4 productive ways to be effective at decision making.

1. Limit Your Options

The more options we have, the harder it is to make a decision. Limit your choices as to avoid analysis paralysis and be better satisfied with the decision you make. Because one of the worst things you can do is get bogged down by too many options.So start off by reducing the choices that you have.There are normally a few that standout right away as not the right fit so you can easily remove those. Then, continue taking options off the table as you determine what criteria is most important to you.

2. Reduce Decision Fatigue

Our brains have limits. The more decisions we make over the course of the day, the more tired our brain becomes. See it like going for a run.If you run once a day, totally fine. You have time to recover and you’re ready to go the next day.If you start running twice a day, still probably fine but you’re going to be a little more tired today and you may need some extra rest.Start running 12 times a day? You’re going to be exhausted and probably crawling on that last run.Decision making is very similar.If your day is comprised of too many big decisions, your ability to make effective ones at the end of the day will surely be reduced.

So there’s two things you should do:

  • Give yourself time to “recover” between big decisions – don’t make too many within a certain period
  • Reduce the amount of decision you need to make in a day

As far as reducing decisions go, you can try delegating decisions out to others so that you don’t need to be involved or try planning out decisions the night before.

3. Keep the Big Picture in Mind

When struggling to make a tough decision, think of your goals. Those things off in the distance that you actively work towards. Look at it this way: Will one of the options help you move closer to your goal over another? Put them in the context of the decision you are trying to make. For example, will choosing Option A help me get closer to my goals? Will Option B? Which one is more likely to help push me in the right direction? When making decisions through that lens you will be able to keep the big picture in mind and better make a decision.

Because sometimes with decision making we can get so lost in the minutia, the minor details, or the smallest factors that we forget to think of the real reason we need to make a decision at all. So next time you are faced with a tough choice, use your big picture goals as a means to put your decision into perspective.

4. Ask- Is it Sustainable?

Whether it involves decision making in business, at home, or in your personal life, you need to consider whether or not a decision is sustainable. What does that mean? It means to consider whether or not the decision you make will still be a smart option in the long term. For example, lets say you want to build a house. You can either build it out of paper and tape or use brick. Paper and tape will take a day to make whereas brick will take 3 months. You may be in a rush, but before you make your final decision you need to first ask yourself which of these options is better for you in the long term. The house made of paper may be good for a day or two, but if it rains or get windy you’ll be out of luck. On the other hand, the brick will take longer to build, but should last for decades to come. Therefore, by considering which option is better sustainable, you have a framework that will help you with decision making.

Remember, if all else fails...BREATHE!

12-minute meditation: Diaphragmatic breathing