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Slow Down to Make Better Decisions in a Crisis

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https://hbr.org/2020/03/slow-down-to-make-better-decisions-in-a-crisis

hbr.org

Slow Down to Make Better Decisions in a Crisis
Executive Summary With the news around the COVID-19 pandemic developing quickly, people are making decisions - often quickly - on everything from whether to cancel meetings to how to best project their family and colleagues. In a time of crisis and uncertainty, there are several psychological factors that impact our ability to make decisions.

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Decision-making obstacles

Decision-making obstacles
Psychological reasons why we find decision-making difficult right now:
  • The realness of the present threat: the new virus is really contagious and people are dying from ...

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The pandemic and our biases

The threat, uncertainty, and anxiety related to the pandemic lead us to make short-sighted decisions:

  • we crave more information so we are spending a lot of time looking for news upd...

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Financial decisions

People want to take action quickly, even when inaction might be more prudent.
Faced with anxiety, some are making quick decisions about finances as well and started fear selling their sto...

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Slowing down

To make good decisions in troubled times, it's best to slow down, even if our fears urge us to take action.
Most of the actions you are likely to take will not be prudent in the face of a...

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Using deliberative reasoning

There is a lot of information out there right now about the virus and how to react. 

Take the time to read and digest it (maybe even discussing it with an expert) before making important...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Pandemic Anxiety

Excessive anxiety around this global pandemic is becoming a mental health epidemic across the world.

While a certain amount of stress is useful, it needs to be channelled to help us act in t...

Times of Uncertainty

Humans subconsciously look for self-protective assumptions when faced with uncertain situations, and different personalities have a different level of ‘optimism bias’. This bias, however, has the opposite effect when faced with a life-threatening, invisible enemy.

Those who have faced adverse situations can turn to panic buying and hoarding, with some feeling empathy towards others as well.

Talking To Children

Children think of the world as a safe, good place, as they are shielded from the worst aspects. With this new virus, we need to help them adjust, telling them to stay home as there is a strange bug outside that makes elders sick and can be spread easily to them. They also need reassurance and age-appropriate answers to help them comprehend the situation.
Example: You can tell them that kids seem to not get very sick from this, but it affects older people more

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The State Of The Virus

Life around the world is changing dramatically as we practise social distancing, staying away from our friends and avoiding going to our favourite places, or even being unable to work. We already l...

Uncertain Time Frame

Top experts say the virus is going to be circulating for a year or two and can keep infecting people, causing outbreaks until there is a vaccine or treatment to stop it. If we drop the unpleasant and strict measures, the virus outbreak can know no boundaries or limits of infections. It won’t simply go away in two weeks.

Guidelines by WHO

  • Wash your hands regularly, and for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then dispose of it properly.
  • Clean and disinfect doors, handles and objects that are touched all the time.
  • Contact a health professional if you have symptoms; fever and a dry cough are most common.
  • DON’T touch your face.
  • DON’T go out of your home.

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State Of Emergency

The ongoing pandemic is more than just a gigantic health crisis. The global economic order, for the first time in several decades, is on the path to an imminent restructuring.
Th...

Resolve

The measures to stop the spread of the virus are well-known by now: staying home in lockdown, working from home as a default option, schools switching from physical classrooms to e-learning models.

Not every country has been able to make these choices fast, due to a combination of hesitation, inaction, and paralysis. Before any decision is made, the first thing to do is determine what needs to be done and at what pace and scale.

Resilience

As the current health crisis steamrolls into an economic crisis unparalleled for the last 100 years, the decline in economic activity is already at par with the great depression.

This crisis of global proportions requires resilience, both for near-term issues like liquidity and cash flow, as well as long-term issues like uncertainty, personal financial stress and recovering from multiple challenges that were already present and are now further complicated due to the pandemic.

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