How To Make Better Decisions Faster
When faced with choices, we all want to pick the best possible one. For most of us that usually involves collating mountains of information, weighing every single option and consulting others before finally taking action while secretly crossing our fingers behind our back.
But here is the kicker. When a decision is made is often more important than what decision is made.
No matter how meticulous we are in the lead-up, if the time has passed for a decision to be fully effective then even the best one would not make much of a difference. That does not mean, however, that we should be flippant in our decision-making.
Good decisions are shaped around a pragmatic structure that merges knowledge and intuition in a way that ensures a brief process and a powerful outcome.
Here is woman with drive’s structure for making better decisions faster.
Separate The Big From The Small
The next time you approach a decision, ask yourself these three questions:
- How important is this decision on a scale of one to 10?
- Will the outcome of this decision make a difference a year from now?
- What is the worst thing that could happen from this decision?
Then decide how much time and effort that decision deserves. This evaluation may also reveal that only a handful of decisions are genuinely as important as you make them out to be.
Know Your Objective and Criteria
What is it that you want your decision to achieve? Once that is clear, everything else becomes very simple. Start off every decision-making process by evaluating each option against that objective and eliminating those that will not help you meet it. Next, set the specific criteria needed to make that decision. Once that criteria has been met, make the choice and move on.
There will also be times when one piece of information will stand out in its importance from the rest. That one piece is enough for you to take action. The others just complicate the situation and waste time.
Let Go of Perfection
If you are not facing a life-changing decision, then choose an “adequate” option that is available right now instead of holding out for the “perfect” one. Every option has its pros and cons, and there is rarely a situation where the “perfect” option presents itself to you exactly when you need it.
When American philosopher, Ruth Chang, made a career transition from lawyer to philosopher, she studied how to make hard choices. In her TED Talk on decision-making, she said hard choices are hard because one option is not better than the other and that there is no best option over all. Sometimes “good enough” really is good enough.
Trust Your Expert Intuition
Columbia Business School professor, William Duggan, has identified three different types of intuition – ordinary, strategic and expert. Ordinary intuition is gut instinct while strategic intuition involves clear thought and flashes of insight. Expert intuition kicks in during familiar situations and drives our snap judgments.
As you get better at something, you will start recognising patterns that will help you solve similar problems faster. But be mindful to only trust your expert intuition when making choices about familiar problems and not for break-through solutions.
Use The 2-Minute Rule
Setting yourself a self-imposed deadline of two minutes will push you to quickly assess the pros and cons of a situation and make a decision based on both knowledge and intuition.
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