Do you ever wish that there were easy ways to make difficult decisions? There are a few things you can do to make the decision making process easier, although it depends what it is you’re trying to decide! I always find decision making a difficult process and tend to beat myself up if I feel I’ve made the wrong choice. Don’t make the same mistakes as me and instead follow some of these ways to make difficult decisions which should hopefully make your life easier!
1. Weigh up the Pros and Cons
Every decision has pros and cons, so look at both sides and think about what will happen if you choose either one. By listing the pros and cons of each option on paper, you can clarify the situation in your head – the chances are you already know which one you’re swaying towards, but seeing it written down may help you to justify and finalize things in your mind. This is one of my favorite ways to make difficult decisions and I use it regularly.
2. Ask a Friend
There’s no harm in asking friends for their input when you’re trying to make a difficult decision. Make sure that you don’t make your decision just because that’s your friend’s view – instead, take their advice and opinions on board and then look at the facts before you decide. For example, if you’re deciding whether or not to move to a new area, chat to your friend to see what they think about the area and your move, but bear in mind that they might really want you to stay where you are, just so you’ll live closer to them! Ultimately, the decision lies in your hands.
3. Research Your Options
It pays to be informed, and by researching your options, you can often come to a decision much quicker. If you’re considering a new career path, trying to decide where to go on holiday or simply need to choose what to wear to your friend’s wedding, researching online can be beneficial. You’ll come away from your computer feeling inspired and ready to make that decision!
4. Roll the Dice
Now, I’m not recommending that you use this technique to make important, life changing decisions, but the book ‘The Dice Man’ by George Cockcroft tells the story of a man who does just this – he rolls the dice to make his decisions. Using an external factor such as dice to make simple decisions can be fun and may lead to some surprising results. Of course, you could use something like a Magic 8 ball app on your iPhone to similar effect. Just think carefully before you act!
5. Use Advice Columns
Advice columns in magazines, or advice forums online are often a great place to seek help with decision making. You don’t always have to write in or post your problem, as the chances are there will be someone experiencing the same issue – this means that you can look at the advice which has been offered to them and apply this to your situation. This could help with making difficult decisions relating to a relationship or friendship, or even more practical situations such as choosing which university to attend.
6. Go with Your Gut
Many people will tell you to follow your heart – when it comes to love, this may be true, but when it comes to more practical decisions, the chances are your gut instinct is already telling you which option is the best for you. If you’re not sure what your gut is saying, try rolling dice or tossing a coin to make your decision. If you feel disappointed by the outcome then congratulations, you know that’s not the choice you want to make, and your decision has been made! I’m a great believer in always following your gut instincts, especially when it comes to making important decisions.
7. Take a Break
If you’ve been puzzling and worrying over a decision for weeks, get away from it all for a while (if you can). By stepping back and detaching yourself from the situation that’s bothering you, you can come back to it later and hopefully make a more objective decision, without feeling stressed or anxious. It’s sort of like when you’re trying to solve a puzzle or complete an essay – a short break can mean you’ll return to the situation refreshed and ready to make that decision!
Hopefully these tips will help you to make decisions more easily in the future – I know that they’re all things which I try to apply to my decision making process. Having said that, it’s easier said than done not to lie awake all night worrying about the outcome of your decisions, but by taking your time and ensuring you make the right choice for you, decision making should gradually start to become easier. What are some of the things you do when you’re trying to make an important decision?