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Pretend You're Advising a Friend

Pretend You're Advising a Friend

Think outside yourself a little and pretend like you're offering advice. 

The reasoning here is really simple: your short-term emotions get in the way of decisions, and that clouds your judgment. It's hard to break free of your emotions, but it helps to know they affect your choices.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

Limit The Information You Take In

We usually believe that the more information you have, the better decisions we can make. However, at some point, we cross a threshold where we have too much information. That's when we start to fill in gaps and add weight to information that doesn't matter. 

This makes decision making way more difficult.

Reverse Your Assumptions

You're so prone to continue making the same kind of choices throughout your life that challenging yourself and doing the exact opposite is often the best way to get around this problem. 

The idea here is to confront your default behavior, step outside your comfort zone, and use your imagination to test some completely new ideas.

The Mental Backflip
  • List all your assumptions about your subject.
  • Reverse each assumption. Consider their opposites.
  • Ask yourself how to accomplish each reversal.

The end result is a new viewpoint you might not have considered otherwise. 

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RELATED IDEAS

  • Narrow framing: The tendency to define our choices in binary terms. We ask, "should I, or shouldn't I?" instead of “What are the ways I could...?”
  • Confirmation bias: People tend to select the information that supports their preexisting attitudes, beliefs, and actions. 
  • Short-term emotion: When we’ve got a difficult decision to make, our feelings occupy our minds. And this doesn't add any new information that could benefit us. 
  • Overconfidence: People often think they know more than they actually do about how the future will unfold.

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IDEAS

Break the circle of overthinking:
  • Relabel the ideas you're overthinking ("self-doubt," "anxiety," etc)
  • Reframe your experience and identify your thinking errors
  • Refocus your attention on the part that matters
  • Revalue your brain's messages with the new information
To make better decisions:
  • Make your decisions in the morning;
  • Eat first: Keep your physical desires taken care of before big decisions.
  • Cut down your choices, right down to a tiny shortlist and you’ll have an easier time.
  • Open the windows: Keeping the CO2 levels low is really important.
  • Use a foreign language: Explain the situation to yourself and replying with your decision in a foreign language and see how differently you process that information.