There is nothing that wastes time more than dithering and taking ages to make a decision.
How many times have you had a decision to make, spent days/weeks to-ing and fro-ing, only to come back to your first idea! How annoying to have wasted all that head space when you could have been thinking and/or doing something more interesting instead.
There are different types of decision to make, and different ways to make the decision – all of which I have tried to explore in this post – all you have to do is decide to read on!…..
Making small decisions
Can’t work out what to have for lunch, what brand of shampoo to buy, what outfit to wear today?
These are not matters of life and death – and trust me – you won’t even remember what you decided in a few days time anyway.
They are examples of inconsequential questions that we all ask ourselves throughout the day.
The trick that organised people have learnt is to recognise these as small decisions and quickly make a choice and move on.
Go with your gut, the first thing that you think of, as you won’t usually go far wrong with that. Trust yourself!
You’ll save yourself so much time and energy as a result, and its a great habit to get into.
Making more important decisions
Running your home well, organising the family, having a social life and still getting things done – all require decision making.
However, a lot of these sort of decisions can be made once and then repeated – saving you lots of extra time and energy.
Why not create a meal plan / cleaning schedule / delegate some jobs to others etc….. and spend the time up front deciding the best way forward – then follow the plan.
Having some of the thinking taken away from you can be liberating!
What about the big decisions?
Now, there are some decision that require much more thought and time – but even these can be streamlined to give you more time:-
- Career change?
- Moving house?
- Starting a family?
- Upgrading your car?
The trick is to break these big decisions down, act on each part, do the thinking – and then stick to what you have decided.
The worst thing you can do is to keep changing your mind – as any work you have done towards the original idea will be wasted (the only exception here is if circumstances change that mean your original decision can’t be done for whatever reason).
You deserve to live a life that makes you as happy as possible – so make the decisions and set a plan and process to get yourself there.
Why do I find it so difficult to decide?
Ever wondered how some people just seem to live the perfect life – great job, family, house, etc…. – they are usually the people who are good at making decisions and working quickly to achieve them – theres no magic formula in life – its just making the most of what you are dealt and using the least amount of time for tasks as possible.
If you find it difficult to make decisions, chances are you are stuck in one area of your life and thats making you miserable. Making decisions means saying no to things as well as yes. If you hate your job, then making the decision to change career means saying goodbye to it and making a huge change – maybe you just aren’t ready to do it yet. If you need a change, then step out of your comfort zone and try it – theres usually always a way back if you need it.
How can I make decisions more quickly?
1. Don’t Delay!
Putting things off doesn’t help. set yourself a time limit if you need to.
If you haven’t got the information you need to make a decision then action yourself or delegate to someone to get that for you asap. At least you have now made the next step towards making the decision!
Want to book a holiday? Get a travel agent to put some suitable packages together for you – then pick one – much easier than trying to do all the work yourself – saves time and makes it easier to make a choice as well!
2. Don’t give yourself too much choice
People usually find that picking between 2 or 3 things is much easier than picking out of a massive choice. The brain can only process so much!
I am terrible at trying to ensure I have explored everything possible before I make any decisions. Picking a new colour for my bedroom? I want to look at all possible colours to ensure I make the right choice – I am worried that I won’t find the perfect one until last so don’t want to stop looking. The truth? There will be several that will all work as well as each other, and I’ll never be able to look at every possible alternative anyway (especially if I am trying to remember and compare them all!).
My job as an Interior Designer means I see this indecision regularly with clients. When I bring a selection of fabrics to their home they will usually pick out one of these – as I have cut down the choice it makes the decision far easier than if they went into a fabric shop and were faced with thousands of options.
The decision can be simply too overwhelming. How many times have you seen people wandering around DIY stores, fabric shops and furniture shops unable to make the choice?!
Its terrifying – so give yourself a break – less choice will still produce fantastic results.
If you do find a “better” option later down the line – then you can always change your mind – but trust me – you won’t be looking anymore and therefore are very unlikely to find something better for you.
3. Realise that nothing can’t be reversed
No decision has to be final.
If you decide something and it really doesn’t work – then try again! Ask yourself whether you can live with the worst case scenario from a decision and if you can, then go for it!
Once you start getting into the habit of being more decisive you will usually trust your instincts much more, and save yourself so much time in the process!
4. Toss a coin!
Yes, really! If you are struggling between two equally good options – then just picking one at random will be good enough.
Make the decision and get the choice made!
5. Keep calm
Making rash decisions rarely works, so stand back, count to 10, and ensure you’re not adding emotion into the equation.
Have you ever responded to an email that made you angry, only to regret the rash reply as soon as you have hit SEND? Basically – never do anything in response to something without giving yourself time to think about it calmly – your decision will then be more true to yourself.
6. Try to avoid being perfect
Noone can make perfect decision every time. Realise this and you will find making decisions much easier. You will put less pressure on yourself, and get more done!
The best time to make small decisions is NOW! and for the bigger decision in life make sure you progress the smaller steps needed to gather all information before that decision can be made – keep the momentum going.
There are several decision making habits that you can develop, and being more decisive will save you so much time – you’ll naturally get more done each day.
Go with your gut – follow your instincts – MAKE THAT DECISION and MOVE ON!