You make decisions every single day. Some are easy, like what you will eat for breakfast. Others are much more difficult and require serious thought. The problem is we are bombarded with thousands of decisions (little and big!) each day. This decision deluge can lead to overwhelm, procrastination, and decision fatigue. Not good when you want to make a smart decision quickly! So, let’s talk about 7 ways to be a smart decision maker:
We have to make up to 10,000 trivial decisions every single day.Noreena Hertz “Eyes Wide Open: How to Make Decisions in a Confusing World”
Tip 1: Pick the One That Moves You Forward
If you are stuck between 2 good choices (Or 2 bad choices because let’s face it not all choices are fun) ask yourself which one moves you closer to your overall goal and which one distracts? The smart decision will be the choice that most you closer to your goal.
Tip 2: Set a Timer and Hash it Out
If you just need to focus and decide, setting a timer will help. Set it for 15 minutes, write the pros and cons you need to make, all the fears or worries, and when you are finished you will have gotten to the heart of the matter quickly and can make your choice.
Tip 3: Focus On What You Can Control
You don’t need to bog yourself down with things you can’t control- like outside forces or other people’s opinions- when you make your decision. Focus solely on what is your responsibility and under your control the quicker the decisions will come.
Tip 4: Tap Into Your Intuition
There’s an old saying: “Don’t make permanent decisions based on temporary emotions.” And it’s true for making smart and quick decisions. You need to tap into your intuition to make sure you are choosing from both your rational and emotional brain- not just one or the other. If you need some tips on how to do this, you can check out the podcast I did on this topic. Click here to listen!
Tip 5: Automate Simple Decisions
To combat decision fatigue, make more of your little decision like what you are going to wear and what you will eat for lunch, more automatic. For instance, Steve Jobs only wore a black turtleneck and jeans to work every day. Just automating one daily choice will free up some brain power to focus on more pressing decisions.
Tip 6: Decide First Thing in the Morning
Another way to make decision fatigue is not sabotaging your efforts- make the tough decision in the morning when your brain is still fresh. With every hour that passes and every decision you make you get one step closer to the limit of your decision-making abilities.
When you practice these 7 steps consistently you will become a smart decision maker. No more overwhelm, procrastination, or decision fatigue. You will be able to act with confidence and not react with regret.