As humans, we’re constantly faced with decisions from the minute we wake up until we go to bed. In fact, studies performed by Sheena Iyengar at Columbia University found that
Americans make an average of 70 decisions each day.
That’s a lot of decision making!
When you’re a business owner, you’re likely to make even more decisions than that — many of which can be integral to the long-term success and sustainability of your company.
One issue that I’ve encountered and that many of us have been plagued by is overthinking a decision to the point of paralysis. This is problematic, because we can end up waffling back and forth afraid to make a final decision.
In turn, this reduces our effectiveness. Our business’s growth can be stunted as a result.
Here are some techniques I’ve developed for streamlining the decision making process, and getting better at making the right decision in a split second every time.
Think of Your Time as Money
A simple yet effective trick I use is to put things into perspective by remembering that my time is valuable. If I’m spending an exorbitant amount of time agonizing over a decision, it’s time that’s essentially wasted. I can’t get that time back.
I’ve found that this forces me to stay on track, and I can usually make a decision with minimal friction.
If you have to, you can even set a timer for a tough decision so that you know that you only have a finite period of time.
When you break it all down, we struggle with decisions for one main reason. We fear making mistakes.
But the key to making sound decisions is embracing the fact that you’re going to make mistakes. It’s an evitable part of life.
But this shouldn’t stop you from being bold and sticking to your guns. It’s simply a matter of having a new perspective on mistakes–viewing them as a learning tool and a catalyst for progress.
I would also venture to say that most mistakes are easily correctable. Even if you make a terrible decision, it’s probably reversible, and with a little effort you can get things back on track.
When you think of it this way, it becomes much easier to make quick decisions, and you won’t drive yourself crazy over analyzing every minute detail.
Keep Your Long-Term Goal in Mind
When making a big decision that’s going to impact my business, there are a myriad of factors that run through my mind. But I’ve found that I can streamline things by focusing on the overarching, long-term goal.
An article from the Harvard Business Review says it well.
The biggest hurdle to fast and roughly right decisions is criteria overload. Trying to weigh every possible objective and consideration from every possible stakeholder shoots the decision process in the foot before you even get off the starting line.
But by keeping the key objective in mind, you’ll know what’s most important, and can form a decision accordingly.
Go With Your Gut
It may sound cliche, but trusting your instincts often pays off. In fact, scientific research has actually found that going with your gut is ideal for decision-making.
According to experts, “the more you pay attention to the outcome of trusting your intuition in combination with facts, the better your future decision-making can become.”
I know that for me personally, following my gut tends to lead me down the right path more often than not.
Once you get more comfortable with this process and make a few decisions that lead to favorable outcomes, the more you’ll trust yourself, and the easier it gets to trust your instincts going forward.
Call a Mentor
Even the wisest, most confident and savvy people need a little direction from time to time. I know that I’ve needed plenty of it throughout the years.
Whenever I really find myself struggling with a decision or simply need a fresh perspective from someone I trust, I contact my mentor Andy.
He has a wealth of knowledge, a good heart and knows what it takes to succeed. As a result, I know that his input is as good as gold.
I would strongly suggest searching for a mentor so that you’ll have someone to turn to whenever you need some guidance and clarity.
Be sure to get to know them on a personal level, spend time with them and help them out in whatever way you can so that you build solid rapport and a lasting relationship.
Developing quick decision making, and having the confidence to execute key decisions without delay is essential when running a business. If you’ve ever found yourself struggling in this area, these strategies should help you become more adept at the decision making process. I know that they’ve worked for me.
Do you have any particular techniques for making an important decision?