3 Research-Backed Techniques for Making Better Decisions
Next time you’re faced with a problem with many possible answers, pinpoint your end goals and then come up with a solution for each.
This is likely to lead to the generation of a diverse set of options covering multiple categories of solutions.
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You make one decision, wait, make a second decision, and then make a compromise between the two.
Averaging the two judgments tends to outperform trying to identify the better of the two, because answers based on different pools of evidence often bracket with the truth, and because people are imperfect at guessing which answer is better
If you only allow yourself your vice while you’re simultaneously being virtuous, you’ll spend more time doing things that are good for you and less time doing the “bad” things.
The researchers call this “pre-bundling” and say it allows people to couple instantly gratifying activities (such as watching trashy TV) with a behavior that’s beneficial in the long term but requires willpower (like working out).
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Distancing yourself from a problem can help you face it in a more objective way.
Instead of remaining in your own frame of mind, consider yourself as an outside observer, such as a friend giving advice or a fly on the wall. Removing yourself in this way helps you filter out some of your cognitive biases and lean you toward a more rational decision.
Accuracy and reliability in decision making tends to increase if you first give yourself some time to decompress and collect yourself.
This may also help you remove yourself from the problem, knocking out two of these strategies at a time.
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Research has shown that the typical person makes about 2,000 decisions every waking hour. Most are minor ones and we make them automatically. But many have serious consequences.
Our ability to perform mental tasks and make decisions wears thin when it’s repeatedly used.
Identify the most important decisions you need to make, and, as often as possible, prioritize your time so that you make them when your energy levels are highest.
Our brains process five times as much information today as in 1986. Thus, many of us live in a continuous state of distraction and struggle to focus.
To counter this, find time each day to unplug and step back from email, social media and news.
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Our emotions are obsessed with the present moment because it’s difficult to look past our immediate fears and anxieties. And this prevents good decision-making.
The sweet spot in de...
Most of us are afraid of messing thing up. But we rarely ask, “Would I regret that failure?” If the answer is “no,” then that is absolutely a risk you should pursue.
Sometimes, the right decision becomes crystal clear when put into these terms.
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