You make decisions all day, every day at work – from the simple ones like what to eat for lunch to the ones that will make a huge difference to your career (should I take up that new role at work)? Knowing how to make smart decisions faster can really be an advantage. In fact, if you hone your decision-making skills, you are that muchcloser to being a leader.
The downside to not being able to make decisions faster? It can stress you out when you are faced with a dozen of situations just begging for you to decide already!
Many of us put off making decisions because we are afraid the ones we choose could be the wrong one. Newsflash: There are no such things as a wrong decision (unless of course the err of the situation is glaring you in the face, like calling out your boss in front of a client or taking forever to decide on what is obviously the best choice for your career because you can’t decide).
So how do you make decisions, faster? Try these tips:
#1 Set a time limit
Don’t mull on it, just decide. Give yourself a deadline on when to make that decision. If it is a career move you’re deciding on, know that opportunities don’t wait forever. And if you are spending too much time trying to decide what to eat for lunch, know that you’re wasting precious time that can be done doing other things (like enjoying your lunch!). So give yourself a timer where you can focus on making a decision instead of procrastinating. With the pressure of a deadline, you are more likely to really think about your best laid plans instead of just ignoring the obvious.
#2 Try your hand at small decisions first
Let’s not want to quickly conquer the big stuff first. How about practising making faster decisions for things that aren’t too up on the big decision list? If you are one who is likely to go back and forth on big decisions, chances are you’ll struggle with the little ones too. So by conquering the small decisions, you are indirectly teaching yourself how to decide once and for all without constantly changing your mind. Once you’re used to that, you can use that skill to master the big stuff like the job promotion or the new job you’ve been eyeing!
#3 Focus on the present
We can often become overwhelmed by the what ifs for the future, how our decision can affect the future. What you should instead focus on is the present – how that decision can affect your current situation. Simply because who knows what will happen in the future! Live the moment and make a decision that seems like the next best step for now. Everything else will fall into place. Don’t sweat the what ifs; instead embrace the right now!
#4 Have a formula
This usually works for me: I write down the pros and cons. That way I have a physical piece of paper I can literally see for myself what would be the best decision to make right now. Making a decision is after all like working out a puzzle. Having this list will help you focus and plan out your end game.
#5 Trust your gut instinct!
Sometimes, it is as easy as just listening to your gut and go for it. Embrace uncertainty; nobody can be 100% sure of their decisions. But if you feel that it is 90% right, then it must be the best decision to make right now. Just tell yourself this: Even if you make the wrong decision, you can still bounce back and recover by making another decision to right it!
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash