Inspiration

How to Make Better Decisions in 7 Steps

Learn how to make faster, easier, and more accurate choices

Have you ever struggled with making decisions?

Do you often feel overwhelmed by the choices you have to make, or regret the ones you made?

If so, you are not alone. Many people face difficulties in decision-making, especially when the stakes are high, the time is limited, or the options are complex.

But don’t worry, there are some proven strategies that can help you make better decisions faster and easier.

In this article, we will share with you 7 ways to improve your decision-making skills, based on scientific research and practical experience.

By applying these methods, you will be able to:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Boost your confidence and self-esteem
  • Achieve your goals and solve your problems
  • Enhance your creativity and productivity
  • Improve your relationships and communication

Sounds good, right? So let’s get started.

1. Define your objective

The first step to making a good decision is to clarify what you want to achieve.

What is your goal?

What is the problem you want to solve?

What are the criteria you will use to evaluate the outcomes?

By defining your objective, you will narrow down your focus and avoid distractions.

For example, if you want to buy a new car, your objective might be to find a reliable, affordable, and eco-friendly vehicle that suits your needs and preferences. This will help you filter out the options that do not meet your criteria, and compare the ones that do.

2. Gather relevant information

The second step is to collect as much relevant information as possible.

This will help you understand the situation better, identify the pros and cons of each option, and anticipate the consequences of your decision.

You can gather information from various sources, such as:

  • Your own knowledge and experience
  • Other people’s opinions and feedback
  • Books, articles, podcasts, videos, etc.
  • Data, statistics, facts, etc.

However, be careful not to fall into the trap of information overload.

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Too much information can confuse you, overwhelm you, and paralyze you.

Therefore, you should limit your search to the most important and reliable information, and stop when you have enough to make a confident decision.

3. Generate alternatives

The third step is to generate as many alternatives as possible.

This will help you expand your horizons, stimulate your creativity, and increase your chances of finding the best solution.

You can generate alternatives by using various techniques, such as:

  • Brainstorming
  • Mind mapping
  • SWOT analysis
  • Pro-con lists
  • Decision matrix

However, be careful not to fall into the trap of analysis paralysis.

Too many alternatives can make you indecisive, doubtful, and fearful. Therefore, you should eliminate the alternatives that are clearly inferior, unrealistic, or incompatible with your objective, and focus on the most promising ones.

4. Evaluate alternatives

The fourth step is to evaluate the alternatives you have generated.

This will help you weigh the benefits and risks of each option, and compare them with your objective and criteria.

You can evaluate alternatives by using various tools, such as:

  • Scoring system
  • Ranking system
  • Decision tree
  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Prospective hindsight

However, be careful not to fall into the trap of cognitive biases.

These are mental shortcuts that can distort your judgment, such as:

  • Confirmation bias: Seeking or favoring information that confirms your existing beliefs or preferences
  • Anchoring bias: Relying too much on the first piece of information you encounter
  • Availability bias: Judging the likelihood of an event based on how easily you can recall similar examples
  • Framing effect: Being influenced by the way information is presented, such as positive or negative wording
  • Sunk cost fallacy: Continuing to invest in a losing option because of the time, money, or effort you have already spent on it

Therefore, you should try to be objective, rational, and impartial when evaluating your alternatives, and avoid letting your emotions, assumptions, or expectations interfere with your decision.

5. Make a decision

The fifth step is to make a decision.

This is the moment when you choose the best alternative among the ones you have evaluated, based on your objective and criteria.

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You can make a decision by using various methods, such as:

  • Intuition: Trusting your gut feeling or instinct
  • Majority rule: Going with the option that has the most support or votes
  • Consensus: Reaching an agreement with other people involved in the decision
  • Randomization: Leaving the decision to chance, such as flipping a coin or rolling a dice
  • Delegation: Assigning the decision to someone else who has more expertise or authority

However, be careful not to fall into the trap of procrastination.

Delaying or avoiding making a decision can have negative consequences, such as:

  • Missing opportunities
  • Wasting time and resources
  • Increasing stress and anxiety
  • Damaging your reputation and credibility
  • Lowering your morale and motivation

Therefore, you should make a decision as soon as you have enough information and alternatives, and stick to it. Don’t second-guess yourself, or worry about what others might think or say.

6. Implement your decision

The sixth step is to implement your decision.

This is the action phase, where you put your decision into practice, and execute your plan.

You can implement your decision by following these steps:

  • Communicate your decision to the relevant people, such as your team, your boss, your family, etc.
  • Assign roles and responsibilities to the people who will help you carry out your decision, and set deadlines and milestones
  • Gather the resources and tools you need to implement your decision, such as money, materials, equipment, etc.
  • Monitor and track the progress and results of your decision, and make adjustments if necessary
  • Celebrate your achievements and reward yourself and others for your efforts

7. Review your decision

The seventh and final step is to review your decision.

This is the feedback phase, where you evaluate the outcomes and consequences of your decision, and learn from your experience.

You can review your decision by asking yourself these questions:

  • Did you achieve your objective?
  • Did you solve your problem?
  • Did you meet your criteria?
  • What were the positive and negative effects of your decision?
  • What were the expected and unexpected results of your decision?
  • What did you do well and what did you do poorly?
  • What did you learn and what can you improve?
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By reviewing your decision, you will be able to:

  • Appreciate your successes and failures
  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses
  • Recognize your opportunities and threats
  • Acknowledge your mistakes and correct them
  • Enhance your skills and knowledge
  • Improve your future decisions

Conclusion

Decision-making is a vital skill that can help you achieve your personal and professional goals, and overcome your challenges and difficulties.

By following the 7 steps we have outlined in this article, you will be able to make the best decisions quickly and accurately, and enjoy the benefits of your choices.

However, remember that no decision is perfect, and no outcome is guaranteed.

There will always be some uncertainty, risk, and trade-off involved in any decision. Therefore, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, or change your mind if the situation changes. The most important thing is to learn from your experience, and keep improving your decision-making skills.

We hope you found this article helpful and interesting.

If you did, please share it with your friends, family, and colleagues, and leave us a comment below. We would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this topic.

Thank you for reading, and happy decision-making!


References:

  • How to Make Decisions – https://www.mindtools.com/aiplsat/how-to-make-decisions
  • How to Make Great Decisions, Quickly – https://hbr.org/2022/03/how-to-make-great-decisions-quickly
  • 12 Ways To Make Better Decisions – https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/how-to-make-better-decisions
  • Decision making 101 – https://au.reachout.com/articles/decision-making-101
  • How to Make Better Decisions in Life – https://markmanson.net/how-to-make-better-life-decisions

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