04/11/2014 07:48 GMT | Updated 01/01/2015 05:59 GMT

Making Decisions Easier

The A-Z Challenge: I is for Indecision. Shift negative to positive alphabetically.

From the moment we wake up till we go to bed, we make hundreds of decisions. Life is a continuous stream of decision making. Despite it being a common activity, most of us struggle with decision-making.


Photo by Inner Space

3 tips to make, making decisions a little easier:

  1. Decision Deadline. Set a time limit on your decision making process.
  2. Quick but don't rush. Know when to make quick swift decisions. Avoid rushing into hasty decisions.
  3. Decide not to decide. Not because it's easier but because it's sensible. Decisions don't always have to be made.

3 approaches to decision making:

  1. Thoughtful Consideration. If the situation does not require an instant decision then give yourself time to gather enough information and weigh up all your options. Ask yourself, which option makes me feel most excited? Or you could frame the decision in the grand scheme of things, how will this affect me in 10 years? Think things through carefully and deeply but at the same time avoid over-thinking.
  2. Follow your intuition. Most of us make decisions intuitively. We follow our gut feelings, our conscience because it's our inner resource that 'knows' what we need and what to do. And most often it guides us to do what feels right. But sometimes gut feelings can be wrong. So maybe to make smarter decisions, we should learn to listen to our gut feelings but verify it with reasoning and data.
  3. Step Back to Gain Perspective. Often it's easier to help others make decisions because we're not emotionally involved. So when it comes to making your own decisions, you might want to try stepping back from the situation, the emotions, the expectations, the history with the story.... Be an observer and you may see things differently, see the bigger picture, see what needs to happen. You may just gain a better perspective and find your way out of confusion into clarity.

3 pitfalls in the decision making process:

  1. Don't want to get it wrong. Often we're anxiously fussing over making the right decision because we're striving for a 'perfect' decision. Understand that no-one ever makes the right decisions 100% of the time! No decision is perfect. Each decision has a potential risk of being a wrong decision. Even though it's about doing the right thing, in the right way, at the right time - there is no formula for successful decision making. Know when to confidently make a decision that is sufficient or good enough.
  2. What will others think? Most of us look to others to make our decisions. Others have interesting insights and inspirations but it's important not to be swayed by people's expectations, opinions and personalities because at the end of the day, it's your life and only you know the most about you and your situation. So have the confidence to ask others for advice but look to yourself to make the final decision.
  3. Rehashing Decisions. Do you have the habit of rehashing decisions already made? Wondering if a different choice would have been better? If the decision is not working out for you and you're not happy, then see if changing your decision is an option. If it is, then change it. If you don't have the option to change your decision, then like with anything else, just confidently take the opportunity to make it work for you!

Remember, it's not what we choose but how we make use of our choices that matters.

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