We’ve probably all been in situations where we had to choose from equally attractive choices and we pondered and pondered and lost ourselves in the maze our minds. And yet, whether it is about “what should I cook today” and it ends up being a 30 minutes wait in the supermarket trying to make up your mind or “should I take that job abroad”, making choices is not necessarily a pleasant task.
Why is making choices a tough job? Because we will most likely end up wondering “what could have been if”, especially if the choice we make does not please us, then we go all like “I should have chosen the other way, I am such an idiot”. Or you can be like me, a person who literally tries to avoid any sort of responsibility that making a choice brings on. I prefer to merely linger and ponder and postpone and postpone again until it’s too late to choose.
Hence, I decided it might be a great idea to take a look together at some tips that might ease this strenuous choice making task.
- Pretend you are the one giving advice
This might sound a bit weird at first, especially because we are subjective when it comes to our decisions and choices. But that’s exactly the point of this exercise. Through imagining that you give advice to a friend that is going through a similar situation to yours, you create a certain distance from your own subjective perspective. And in the end it helps you see things more clearly because the advice you end up giving to your friend is mostly what you know is the right choice but you are maybe afraid to make it.
- Be selective with your information
It has been noticed lately that we live through times when we have access to a great deal of information. And we believe, logically, that in order to make an educated decision regarding anything, we need to know all the details, all the points of view and everything there is to know about the matter. However, there is a very thin line when the amount of information we intake becomes too excessive. And instead of helping us to make a decision, it only confuses us more.
This apparently is not only valid when it comes to the world of IT but also to our inner world. Once again, we are so caught up in the middle of the matter that we can no longer see it from a clear perspective. Trying to add some new possibilities that we didn’t initially think of, might widen our points of view and make you learn new things about the way you think. For instance, if you are to choose between two things, add two new things to the equation, things you wouldn’t even normally consider and see how it makes you feel if you were to take one of those unexpected choices.
- Lists over lists
I know this is a great cliché and everyone goes telling you to just make a list and see the pros and cons of each situation. I’ve heard it a dozen of times as well and all I do is roll my eyes. But when I was in the situation of having to decide whether to continue my relationship or I have had enough, a spreadsheet was extremely useful. I was convincing myself that things were not that bad but when I started putting it down on paper, I realized how bad they really were.
- Time yourself
I am also one of those people, as I already said, who postpones and postpones over and over until it might be too late to decide. We think we have endless time at our hands to just think the matter over and over again. And that just stops us from making any sort of decision. Instead, we should try forcing ourselves to decide. Instead of thinking “I have until next week to make a decision” think that you only have 10 minutes left to decide. It does put a great deal of pressure but it might also help you see where your heart truly lies. You can read more about how you can overcome the fears that lie at the core of making a decision in my article here.
All these being said, let us know if you have any further ideas regarding how to make decisions in a more efficient manner and more easily. Let us know which of the above you thought to be the most helpful method. Also, another tip that gives you more insight you can find in my article where I talk about how much of the decisions that we make are truly due to our preferences.