5 ways to make tough decisions faster

Tuesday - 02/04/2019 11:58
Think through your options. Instead of limiting yourself to a “yes” or “no” choice, brainstorm all the possible options before making a decision–you may find compromises and alternatives that weren’t easy to see initially.
5 ways to make tough decisions faster
In fact, consider, too, whether you actually need to make a decision. In some cases it’s fine to simply let a choice pass by without committing either way.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of these decision-making basics in place, you can pick one or two tactics for deciding more quickly. Here are five great options, each suited to different situations and personality types.
1. Fall back on your values
Having clear values that you try to live by can make tough decisions easier. For example, maybe you know there’s a certain amount of time you want to spend with your family, or a baseline level of debt you’re willing to carry.
When it comes time to a decision about work travel, or taking a new job with a long commute, or making a big purchase, you’ll immediately recognize whether choosing a certain course of action would violate one of those values or guide rules.
2. Talk it through
Some people are verbal processors; they organize their thoughts by talking them out. If that’s you, then having a discussion could be your fastest route to a decision. You don’t need to speak with someone who’s knowledgeable on the topic.
You just need a good listener who’ll give you time and space to hear out your monologue and occasionally reflect back to you what you’ve shared. You’re likely come to a decision by the end of the conversation, even if the other person says very little.
3. Ask for perspective
Sometimes you need more than just a sounding board; you actually need advice. Asking someone else for their opinion typically works best when you’re considering doing something that you’ve never done before, and when you know someone who’s experienced in that domain.
When you’re leaning in a given direction already, seeking out wise counsel can help you reach a smart decision faster. Just be careful not to blindly accept advice. A choice that may make sense for someone else might not be right for you.
If you find yourself uncomfortable with what they’ve proposed, you don’t have to go through with it–but you may find the conversation nudged you toward a decision anyhow.
4. Test it out first
In some cases, you can test out a decision before actually making it. Consider visiting a new city to see how it feels to you, before taking that job that would require you to relocate. Or see if you can chat with any of your potential new coworkers ahead of time.
In those moments when you’re exposing yourself to a new experience, your body tends to signal to you whether an unfamiliar situation “feels right” or just “feels off.”
5. Listen to your hopes
When you’re really struggling with a decision, it’s often because your mind thinks one thing is practical while your heart wants something else. Pay attention to what you hope will happen.
For example, when you ask a mentor for advice, what are you hoping she’ll tell you to do or not do? Or if you had to make a decision based on a coin toss, which side would you hope it lands on?
We’re not purely rational creatures. It’s right (and good!) to listen to your hopes because they often give you deeper insight into the decisions you actually want to make.
Life is full of tough choices, but they don’t need to be massive drains on your time. Lay a strong foundation to make decisions generally, then pick and choose from these five tactics to make them faster.
You’ll spend less time agonizing over your decisions without making slapdash choices you’ll later regret.

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