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How to Become a Faster Decision Maker

Apr 21st, 2017

Indecision hinders productivity, creates unnecessary stress, and keeps people from getting the most out of life. If you’re someone who often struggles to decide what to wear, where to eat, or how to spend a free hour of your time, you’ve come to the right place. Here are five tips to help you make confident decisions more quickly.

Identify decisions you need to make

There are simple decisions and there are complex decisions. When a problem requires you to choose between a single set of choices or options, the decision you make is a simple one. When making one decision leads to another set of options from which you must choose one, you’re facing a complex problem. Complex decisions can usually be reduced to several simple decisions by isolating each decision that must be made to solve the problem.

Determine which decisions are most important

Making decisions is part of life. You likely make hundreds of them each day. Some are less important than others. Deciding whether to prepare dinner or order from a restaurant generally carries little importance. The consequences of choosing one option over another should have little impact on your life. Weighing a job offer or deciding whether to stay in your current apartment or move to a new one, on the other hand, will have a noticeable impact on your life. Prioritize important decisions, identifying pros and cons of making certain choices and thinking critically about them. Don’t let decisions of little significance occupy much of your time and mental energy.

Consider your instincts

Your gut instinct to a problem or dilemma you face may not ultimately be the right way to solve the problem. Over-reliance on instincts can lead to plenty of problems. But your instincts come from somewhere. And they’re certainly worth taking into consideration.

Utilize decision-making tools and strategies

One strategy for making decisions that works for many is to imagine that you’re advising a friend facing the same dilemma. If your friend has the same interests and tendencies you have, what would you advise him or her to do? Why should the advice be any different? Spreadsheets are another helpful tool for decision-making. If you find charts and graphs helpful, create a spreadsheet that lists pros, cons, qualities, probable outcomes, and more regarding your decision.

Take action regarding your decision

Once you make a decision, put it into action. Informing interested parties of your decision or taking steps the decision calls for can cure cold feet. It will also help you go confidently about your life, ready to make the next decision you face.

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