Being indecisive is detrimental to progress. If you are to move forward, you must know how to make a decision and take certain steps to implement it.
However, a hard decision is not a walk in the park. It is a vital part of life and there are certain questions you should ask yourself to make a decision.
Every choice you make may have long-lasting consequences. No matter how tough it is, a decision must be made. Because you can’t foresee the significance of every decision, you need to ask yourself questions to get a better understanding of the best option.
Moreover, making better decisions does not automatically come with age. Even though you mature, this does not mean you know exactly what to do. In fact, as you mature, you are exposed to more options and opportunities – yet, you still have to choose. You may be afraid to make a decision as often the consequences of our choices are unknown.
Here are four questions that will help you with decision-making.
Question 1: How long will it take me to decide?
An important question to consider in decision-making is timing. There is a particular time for any action in life. If you take too long to make a decision, the opportunity might pass you by, and a similar occasion may not happen again for a long time.
To get ahead of the ball, you have to maximize every opportunity. For example, you may have to decide between starting a new line of products and expanding the existing lineup. If you take too long to decide, it might affect profit in the long run.
This does not mean you should make a decision based on the first option that comes your way. Every wise person must weigh their options before making a decision. Remember that decisions often have a deadline. This means that while decisions shouldn’t be rushed, they should be well thought out.
Question 2: How important is this decision?
The ripple effects of a decision differ depending on how important it is. Some decisions have the power to change the course of a person’s life, while others only change the present and do not affect the grand scheme of things.
Ask yourself, “Is the decision I am making now going to affect my bigger goal or picture?” For example, a high school graduate has to decide whether to go to college or not. This decision may affect the course of the student’s life forever. The same goes for decisions like buying a house, getting hitched, getting separated, or moving to another country, no matter how trivial or significant.
If you are a company or a team in a company, you have to ask “How important is this decision to the big picture of the company?” According to the experts at PaperLeaf, “The company’s dream is the heart of a decision”, and each one they make is for the good of the company.
To assess the importance of your decisions, categorize them on the basis how related they are to a goal, then rank them by priority. By doing this, you will find it easier to make a decision, especially a hard one.
Question 3: If someone else were in my position, what would be my advice?
Perspective can make or break a decision. Try looking from the outside in as if you’re advising a friend in a similar position. This will help you think more clearly and objectively with less emotional influence. Detaching yourself from pressure will help you make a sound and rational decision without stress bearing down on you.
Recall the last time a friend asked you for advice. How did your perspective differ from theirs and what was their response to the feedback you had offered?
Try going through these same motions when you are faced with a difficult decision. Once you have your initial impulse, think what a knowledgeable friend would advise you to do to handle the issue.
Question 4: What do I feel in my gut?
To some extent, however, gut feelings can be trustworthy. All you have to do is inquire where the feeling comes from and if it is positive or negative. Once you have processed these thoughts, you can make a decision.
When caught between a rock and a hard place, recognize which is softer. There is always a better option even in the face of two evils. No matter how hard the decision, if you make use of the above tips, you will be better prepared to make the right one.
Even if your decision turns out to be a bad one, find a way to work it out for the better. Life happens and the reward of experience comes even with a bad decision.