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2,000 decisions per waking hour

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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Analysis Paralysis

The more information we have to consider, the longer we typically take to make a decision. 

While the decision-making process should be thorough, the best way to make good decisions is usually not to take more time or to look at more information. Instead, review the pertinent information you need, set a deadline to make a decision, and then stick to it.

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Emotions

Our emotions, especially during moments of peak anger and happiness, can hinder our ability to make good decisions.

Pay attention to your emotional state and focus on the character strength of self-control. Resist the temptation to respond to people or make decisions while you’re emotionally keyed up.

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Decision fatigue

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.

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A steady state of distraction

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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Multi-tasking

Performance, including decision-making effectiveness, suffers by up to 40% when we focus on two cognitive tasks at the same time. 

When you need to make important decisions, commit to several blocks of time during the day to focus deeply on the task at hand.

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Lack of input

Introverts are usually reluctant to speak up in a meeting until they know precisely what they want to say. But they may have some of the best ideas to contribute.

So when scheduling a meeting, send out a meeting agenda 24 hours in advance to give everyone time to think about their contributions.

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