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How to Decide Faster

We make thousands of decisions every day. Whether they are big or small, they could take some time. We may not even realize we are doing it, but some of these choices are necessary for survival.

If you’ve ever lost out on an opportunity because you just couldn’t make a decision in time, this article is for you. 5-Minute Crafts has prepared 6 tips to help you make faster decisions and create a mindset for doing it.

1. Limit your options

If you don’t have enough time to weigh all of your options, try to limit their number by choosing the best ones. You can also consider using the optimal stopping theory. It says that you need to reject 37 percent of the options you have.

For example, you need to choose a new secretary from 24 applicants. This theory says you should say goodbye to the first 9 candidates you interview, no matter how great or terrible they seem to be. Then, you can hire the next candidate that is better than the first 9. This theory helps maximize the probability that you’ll end up with the best outcome.

2. Know your main goal

You might be struggling with loads of criteria while in the midst of the decision-making process — taking into consideration that everybody’s opinion can be time-consuming, as well as trying to achieve multiple goals while making one decision.

Instead, try to highlight and choose one or 2 really important objectives for your particular case and stick to them. You can also define which stakeholders you want to disappoint the least and what is the objective they care most about.

3. Listen to your gut feeling

Your gut feeling forms from your intuition and life experience, which you may not understand or even remember. Despite this, it will not trip you up. So, you should trust your gut. However, relying on it requires self-awareness. Asking yourself and responding to the following questions can help you to choose to follow your gut feeling or not:

  • How much experience do I have in situations like this?
  • How predictable is this environment?
  • Is it important to decide faster here?
  • Are my cognitive biases at play?

4. Overcome Indecision

Don’t let yourself get caught up or paralyzed in the decision-making process. Don’t hesitate if you have the facts and figures with you. Choose to keep moving and don’t stop.

Being afraid of making the wrong decision can be the reason why you hesitate when faced with a choice. It can be a fear of failure or even the consequences of success. You might care about other people’s opinions, which doesn’t help you either.

Here are some more tips to avoid indecision:

  • Try to set your fear aside
  • Ask yourself if this will be important in 10 years
  • Avoid perfectionism

5. Think your time as money

It really works if you start to appreciate your time. You can value your hours in dollars, and divide each hour into 10 increments of 6 minutes. Law firms use this technique. 6 more minutes spent on this decision equals another XX dollars spent. That should get you motivated to decide.

6. Know that decisiveness grows with each decision

Remember that practice in decision-making gives you an opportunity to decide faster in the future. Start with small things. It can be choosing a place for dinner or a route to work. The main idea is to limit time while making a choice related to unimportant things. Don’t think too long in these cases. The more decisions you make, the easier it will be in the future. To become an expert at anything, you need to practice.

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