How To Improve Your Decision Making Skills

Jake Wells

Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

Each day you are forced to make many different decisions. And, let's be totally honest, we often procrastinate or overthink with these decisions. We often choose indecision over making the "wrong decision." But the truth is making a decision--even a wrong decision--is better than indecision.

So let's focus on making some decisions. Here are a few decisions you might face. Should you pursue that new project? Should you hire a new team member? What work should you do first? Do you need to change your marketing strategy? Where should you go for vacation? You answer these kinds of questions and many more every day.

Be honest—sometimes you have good intentions but simply don’t do some of these things you say you want to do, right?

All of these decisions can be flat out overwhelming. Let’s walk through the decision making process together. No matter what the problem, here are a few important questions to ask yourself:

What can you finish first?

In many cases, this will be the best item to do. You want to finish. Finishing creates momentum and also boosts your confidence. When you start a project and abandon it in the middle, it becomes much more difficult to finish the next project. Essentially, you have taught yourself a bad habit.

What requires the most research?

Research is often the most common stumbling block. You start researching with good intentions and then find yourself distracted and you are not sure how you got so distracted.

What are you most passionate about?

Another way to word this is what are you most excited about? You need some level of excitement to help push you over the hump when the project or task gets difficult—which it certainly will at some point.

What is your level of willpower?

You have to be honest here. Your will power is directly tied to your mental energy level ad your discipline level. Be completely honest and do not bite off more than you can chew (at least on your own). If you know it if the project or task will be difficult for you, enlist the help of a coach or accountability partner to support you and encourage you.

Does the decision align with your strengths and your goals?

You alone can answer this. If you are not sure, you need to spend some time evaluating your strengths and reassessing your goals. There is no shame at all in regrouping and spending some focused time in thought; this is not failure in any way. The key is to be very intentional about the process. Again, consider getting some outside perspective to help you with this or you may find it hard to come to clear decisions. Another helpful question to ask is what would you tell your friend if he/she came to you with the same decision to make? This can help provide you with some level of perspective.

The Takeaway For You

Again, do not hesitate to make a decision. This is one of the most common struggles. It only prolongs the process and makes it harder on you. Fear of failure is always a struggle for many of us, but we must decide--intentionally--to be willing to make the wrong decision. When you embrace this attitude, you'll start to make more decisions.

In many cases, you can solve problems or course correct as you go. Be willing to write out some what if scenarios. Ask yourself the worst possible scenario. Then, jot down what is most likely to happen. You'll be relieved to know that fear often lies to us and just wants us to stay paralyzed. When you make decisions, you will see that you always move forward.

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