The quality of your decisions affects the quality of your life. Making better decisions is one of the most effective ways to enhance your life. However, making a good decision requires actually making a decision. Too many people avoid making decisions, or they spend far too much time and energy making a decision.
1. Know your purpose. Your purpose makes the best option more obvious. For example, if your purpose is to be an ultramarathoner, it’s easier to decide what to eat and how to spend your time away from your regular job.
- Where should you live? If you want to be a dairy farmer, the city won’t work. If you want to write a book, in what environment do you write most effectively?
2. Be logical. Most people make decisions based on emotion. Logic is only used to justify the decisions they made emotionally. Most people are prone to making poor decisions. You don’t want to be like most people in this regard.
- The best decision is often clear if you apply logic to the situation. Consider how you would advise a friend to proceed. That’s probably your best option.
3. Plan your day the night before. It’s easier to make smart decisions in advance. For example, it’s easy to say, “I’m going to meet my mother for lunch tomorrow.” However, you might be less enthusiastic when the sun comes up. Avoid changing your mind. You already made the decision, so stick with it.
- We make great plans in the evening for the following day. We plan out our days. We make plans to eat a good lunch, hit the gym, and finish that report. The next day, we start overthinking everything and blow it.
- You don’t need to make perfect decisions. You need to make decent decisions and stick with them. Do your thinking at night. Execute your decisions the following day.
4. Know your values. The best option is often obvious if you know your values.
- Take the time to examine your values and then list them in order of priority. When you’re faced with a tough choice, take a look at your list of values and apply your values to your decision. You’ll probably find that an answer is easier to find.
5. Give yourself a deadline. A good decision can often be made very quickly. Avoid taking longer than you need to make a choice. A deadline can be an effective way of making a decision quickly. Give yourself a few minutes to a few days, to make up your mind. Pull the trigger and move on.
6. Know that if you’re indecisive, any option is probably acceptable. When you’re torn between a couple of choices, there’s probably not a “best” option. Just pick one and move on. Flip a coin if necessary.
7. Consider the reason for your hesitation. Why are you hesitating? What’s holding you back? What are your concerns? What are you afraid might happen?
- Is there a way to mitigate this fear so it doesn’t impact your decision process?
8. Forget about trying to be perfect. Perfection leads to procrastination and indecision. Worry about being good. Worry about being smart. That’s as close to perfection as you need to be.
Indecisiveness puts your life on standby. You can dramatically enhance the quality of your life by making better and quicker decisions. Making a decision isn’t a race, but what are you going to accomplish by waiting if you already have the information you need to decide?
Be clear on your purpose and values. Avoid the need to be perfect in your decisions. Make a wise choice and get busy living your life.