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5 ways to make tough decisions faster (and not regret them later)

https://www.fastcompany.com/90199653/5-ways-to-make-tough-decisions-faster-and-not-regret-them-later

fastcompany.com

5 ways to make tough decisions faster (and not regret them later)
Decisions-or, more accurately, in decision-can cause a drag on your time for days, weeks, months, or even years. But choosing well doesn't always have to mean choosing slowly. As an experienced time-management coach, I've developed a handful of strategies for cutting down the time it takes to make tough decisions.

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For decision-making success:

  1. Book time to think: It’s counterintuitive, but making decisions faster requires consciously giving yourself time to make them.
  2. Define the decision: Before delving into deciding, get clear on the nature of the choice you’re making.
  3. Think through your options: Instead of limiting yourself to a “yes” or “no” choice, brainstorm all the possible options before making a decision.

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Fall back on your values

Having clear values that you try to live by can make tough decisions easier.

For example, maybe you know there’s a certain amount of time you want to spend with your family, or a baseline level of debt you’re willing to carry.

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Talk it through

You don’t need to speak with someone who’s knowledgeable on the topic. 

You just need a good listener who’ll give you time and space to hear out your monologue and occasionally reflect back to you what you’ve shared.

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Ask for perspective

Asking someone else for their opinion typically works best when you’re considering doing something that you’ve never done before, and when you know someone who’s experienced in that domain. 

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Test it out first

In some cases, you can test out a decision before actually making it.

For example, consider visiting a new city to see how it feels to you, before taking that job that would require you to relocate.

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Listen to your hopes

When you’re really struggling with a decision, it’s often because your mind thinks one thing is practical while your heart wants something else.

We’re not purely rational creatures. It’s ok to listen to your hopes because they often give you deeper insight into the decisions you actually want to make.

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Decide What You Want

Waiting around often means you’re not happy with any of the options, because they’re not right for who you are. So, when you find yourself stuck between possibilities, think about what you rea...

Being “Supposed To" Choose Something

If you’re feeling pressured into making the decision that looks good, step back and examine your reasoning.

If you can’t come up with a good answer, you know it’s not for you.

Do Something

Remember that doing something trumps doing nothing.

For example, instead of being afraid of choosing the wrong job and suffering through the same job you have been hating for years, imagine taking a job that is not the ideal, but giving your all and building on it. This will help you advance, lead projects and develop your skills and resume. You'll be more at ease to change jobs at that point.

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Personal Or Core Values

They are what you consider most important in your life, literally what you “value. ” They are broad concepts that can be applied across a wide range of circumstances, as opposed to narrow answers t...

The Benefits Of Having a Core Value

  • Having a core values list helps you make better decisions. The decisions you make come more quickly and efficiently than they would without it.
  • Being unconscious of your core values makes you likely to keep repeating the same mistakes.

Creating a List Of Personal Values

The core values that are most valuable to each of us come from our own personal experience, not from being taught.

As you put them into practice you’ll get better at internalizing these values and they’ll express themselves subconsciously with smaller decisions, as well.

Life doesn’t happen to us; we are an active participant. We get out of life what we choose.”

Mike Whitaker

All Decisions Are Not Created Equal

  • Small decisions: Impact you for a day, such as what you wear and what you eat.
  • Medium decisions: Impact your life for a year or so, such as deciding to go back to school or take on a roommate.
  • Big decisions: These are made once or twice a year, and successful people use their goals to navigate to the right choice.

Decision making using goals

Successful people have 4 strategies that help them clearly define what they want:

  • They keep 5 prime goals and stay focused on them.
  • They identify the top priority and give it favorable treatment when making decisions.
  • They look for goal and decision overlap, treating this decision with more care.
  • They appreciate momentum, identifying the benefits of continuing to move in the right direction.