We all struggle with making decisions sometimes. For some of us it can be really stressful. I have wracked my brain to pull out all my decision making tools in the hopes it can help us master our own happiness. Here they are…
Reduce the Number of Decisions.
There is lots of research that suggests we have a finite capacity for decision making in a day. It is said this is why some of the greatest leaders or our time, wore the same clothes or ate the same meals. It reduced the number of decisions they had to make.
Now ok not all of us want to wear the same black roll neck or eat the same food but it is worth thinking about how we can reduce the number of decisions in a day.
One way i have found is important to a achieve this…I try not ask for other peoples opinion on everything. This absorbs their decision making power. Similarly sometimes if I am asked to make a decision I will simply decline and say you are capable of making that decision.
Less decisions to make in a day makes the ones we can’t avoid easier to make.
Make Decisions in Advance.
Where you can make decisions in advance. Group similar decisions together. Plan the meals for the week, decide on your exercise routine, you could even decide what to wear every day. All in advance.
Make Big Decisions in the Morning.
I am a big advocate for sleeping on it if you have a big decision to make. It gives your brain a chance to work through the options. Maybe to throw a little light on new ideas. And in the morning we haven’t used up our capacity for decision making yet.
Reduce the Options
If you have a number of things you are struggling to decide between try to reduce your options. For example if faced with multiple pairs of shoes you want to buy, but you can only buy one. Instead of asking which should I buy? Ask which ones should I put back first? Reducing options to a manageable number can make decisions easier.
Compare and Contrast
Another way to reduce the options if you have to many things to decide between, is to break it down into smaller decisions.
For example deciding between the white shirt or the black shirt, then the white shirt of the red shirt is far easier then trying to tackle white, black or red in one go.
Balance Risk and Reward.
Consider the risk and reward. The bigger the reward the bigger the risk you should be willing to take. When deciding between things sometimes the risk can feel grater for one option than another. Considering if the reward is equally unbalanced can help when making a decision.
Be Clear What you are Deciding Between.
Writing down what you are deciding between can help. We keep a list of meals the family like on the fridge so every week when we have to decide what the meal plan will we are not trying to remember the options at the same time.
Weigh the Pros and Cons
Simple and effective, if you are struggling to decide write down the pros and cons of each. This is not about picking the one with the biggest list of pros and shortest list of cons. This is about getting you considering the options in different ways.
Ask Yourself What do You Want.
Sounds simple but often when faced with a decision we loose sight of this. Ask yourself what you want before jumping into the decision to help frame your thought process.
Once a decision is made move forward. For good or for bad decisions are lessons in life. Sometimes we make the right ones, sometimes the wrong. If you feel after the event you made the wrong decision ask yourself why and consider factoring this in if you are faced with the same decision again. Then let it go.
Happy Decision Making All.
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