Seek Outside Counsel

To avoid confirmation bias (cherry-picking only ideas that support your decisions), seek outside opinions and advice from people who bring different perspectives to your situation.

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How Successful People Make Smart Decisions

forbes.com

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

Mark Twain

“Good decisions come from experience, but experience comes from making bad decisions.”

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...and you'll able to look at decisions as objectively and rationally as possible.

Strong decision-makers know that a bad mood can make them lash out or stray from their moral compass just as easily as a good mood can make them overconfident and impulsive.

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Instead of waiting for the moons to align, successful people know that they need to have a timetable to follow in reaching their decision. 

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Keep past decisions in your mind. 

Successful people are aware enough of past decisions to use them to their benefit when something similar comes up.

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Decision-making works like a muscle: as you use it over the course of the day, it gets too exhausted to function effectively.

One way to avoid this is to eliminate smaller decisions by turning them into routines.

For example: Steve Jobs famously wore a black turtleneck to work every day. Mark Zuckerberg still dons a hoodie. Doing so frees up mental resources for more complex decisions.

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When you find yourself stressing about a decision, try exercising. 

30 minutes of physical activity should be enough to increase your endorphins levels and return to mental clarity.

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Save small decisions for after work (when decision fatigue kicks in) and to tackle complex decisions in the morning, when your mind is fresh

A similar strategy is to do some of the smaller things the night before to get a head start on the next day.

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Helpful criteria to consider:

  • How does this decision benefit me?
  • How does it hurt me?
  • Does the decision reflect my values?
  • Would I regret making this decision? Would I regret not making this decision? 

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Morals serve as trusted guides when your emotions are pulling you in a different direction.

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Sleeping on your decision helps you clarify your thoughts for when you approach it the following day.

It also allows time for your emotions to run their course.

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RELATED IDEAS

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

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How Successful People Make Decisions Differently

fastcompany.com

Every Decision In Life Becomes a Trade-Off

... and boils down to what we give up to attain something. Our mindsets are inclined towards pleasure and resistive towards pain. We normally like to think in terms of gaining, success, and acceptance.

We forget that there are always two sides of the coin and loss, failure and rejection come hand in hand whether we like it or not.

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3 Reasons Why You Make Terrible Decisions (And How to Stop)

markmanson.net

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.

That's why making good decisions is arguably the most important habit we can develop.

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6 Reasons We Make Bad Decisions, and What to Do About Them

hbr.org