5 Steps to Make Decisions Easy

Most people hate making decisions.  Mostly because it is a terrifying possibility that we may make the wrong one and then have to live with it or we may be mocked for it.  Whether it is what to wear to a party or what color to paint our kitchen, the process can be intimidating and may even cause you to choose the ultimate wrong choice – doing nothing because you are afraid of making the wrong choice.  Doing nothing is okay but doing it because of fear is NEVER the right choice.  So how can we change this narrative?

  1. Realize most decisions are not that important.   What you eat for breakfast or wear to work on a Tuesday will not be remembered in a year, or probably even the next day.  It is more about what is not the WRONG decision.  Think of it like the 80/20 rule.  80% of the choices are just fine.  20% may be not be the best.  It is easy to choose ANY of the 80% of choices and know they are just fine and there is no perfect decision among that pool but at least none of them are bad.
  2. Narrow your decision pool.   It is hard to choose among 100 choices.  It is much easier to choose between three choices.  Whittle it down and the choice becomes easier.
  3. Flip a coin.  Once you have the decision narrowed, you probably have it down to ones that are at least not wrong so the choice really matters less.  At this point, flip a coin, play rock/scissors/paper, set up a dart board.  Leave it to fate at that point.
  4. Set up routines and have less choices.  If you have problems deciding what to wear in the morning, create outfits that you rotate between each week.  Monday is black pants and colored top.  Tuesday is blue dress day.  Wednesday is khaki pant day.    Same for what you fix for dinner – ever wonder who came up with Taco Tuesday?  Probably someone trying to simplify their decision making!   Create lists of shows you want to watch so you aren’t flipping through channels.    Get rid of clothing you don’t wear anyway and there will be less choices and so the decision will be easier each morning.
  5. Document the data. Decisions become easier when you can see the data in black and white. Deciding between two cities to move? List the pros and cons of each so you can easily see which makes more sense. Trying to decide between two jobs? List the benefits, pay and work type in side by side columns to easily see the right choice.

My last piece of advice is that once you make the decision, don’t second guess yourself. Remember there is no perfect choice and you did the homework to make the decision. Trust your decision and don’t agonize over it.

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