Make Better Decisions Faster
Decision making is not the easiest thing to do in life, especially when we have so many choices to pick from. The unfortunate truth is that there is always something or the other to lose when we are taking decisions. The harder part is to choose one which is most relevant for our situation, ensuring that losses are minimal. In that pursuit, we present you this post which talks about the 7 important steps to make better decisions faster.
Make better decisions faster: The Questions to ask
Typically, while taking any decisions in our life, we tend to ask ourself a few questions. These questions can be most commonly categorised as:
- What is this going to mean to me?
- What are the advantages?
- What are the disadvantages?
- Do advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
- Is there no unfavourable situation at all?
- Sit and brood over all the unfavourable situations
- Reconsider whether I should take the decision
- Talk to people why I should not take the decision and ask their opinions
I agree that all these questions are very important and most of us go through all these stages while taking a decision. The focus of this post however is to make better decisions faster so that we do not waste too much time doing the unnecessary things. A very important factor to consider here is that most of the decisions are bound by time. Between an average decision taken in less time and an excellent decision taken with a lot of time, the one that wins is usually the well timed one.
Truth is, given more time, we all are pretty smart to come up with some extraordinary solutions to the challenges we are facing. The trick is to make the best out of the existing situation and that is what we mean when we say ‘Make better decisions faster’
Make better decisions faster: The Most Important question
After all, everything boils down to priorities in life. Even when it comes to taking the toughest decision, we need to understand what the most important aspect of this decision is going to be. A simple trick can be to write down all the factors that matter for that decision with a marker in your hand and assign them ‘Grades’. The most important one can be rated 5 and the least 1. Rank them accordingly and see where your priorities lie.
Make better decisions faster: The things that will not work
Once you iron out the priorities, you will also find the things that are not going to work for you. In other words, there will be a few things we will have to sacrifice if we take that decision. Don’t fight to find ways for it. It is going to be the law of averages at some point and the simple trick is – if the benefits outweigh the losses, then it still is a better decision to take. Again, we are talking about priorities here – it depends on the intensity of the losses and the intensity of the gains, not just the numbers alone.
Make better decisions faster: Setting a plan
It is quite impossible to separate your plan of action from decision making. When you have a strong ‘How’ to do something, it is easier to take a decision. Most quotes say that the ‘Why’ is a lot more important because it defines the motivation for taking the decision. We completely agree to that, but that doesn’t mean that we downplay how we are going to do something. We might not have the complete answer, but having a vague plan at least will go a long way in making your decision faster. A simple way can be to draw a skeleton for your action plan
- Identify your resources
- Identify the potential challenges
- Identify the alternatives
The trick most people miss out on is to identify at least 3 alternatives. 3 usually is the magic number. Like my professor used to say – “I don’t know why, I don’t know how, but 3 works – it is a magical number.These 3 alternatives are the ways to reach your goal, not the alternative decisions you can take.
PS: A decent guide to making a plan can be found at: 3 Ways to form a plan
Make better decisions faster: Flexibility
When you take a decision, you really have to be quite firm on it. But that doesn’t mean that you are very firm on the way you want to achieve it as well. As you go along the process, you will discover new knowledge and resources which will make your life easier. Make sure that you have an option for that flexibility in your plan so that you are constantly listening to what is happening around you. You want to be firm but not rigid so that you miss out on what is most important. Keep the decision fixed and the method to achieve it flexible so that you don’t miss out on the big picture.
Make better decisions faster: Decision B
Most people will often tell you to keep a Decision B ready. Some will even say keep a Decision C also ready just in case. To be honest, we are the people who believe in the power of three. But we know that the Decision A is ‘A’ for a reason and we need to make that work. We need to ensure that we give it everything we got to make that a success. Some people go to the extent of saying that you should not have alternatives as that is going to distract you from your true goal.
I can see the logic in that. Desperation can bring out an amazing energy in you. However, you need to know that it is the last resort. Even if resilience is your strength, you need to use it when it is required – not overuse it just because it is your strength. And it is unfair to put your mind through such large amounts of stress just because it brings out the best in you. There must be better ways to achieve your results.
Make better decisions faster: Why things won’t work?
The popular reasons as to why things don’t work are
- Giving up too early
- Not having a realistic view for the decision
- Lack of resources
The unfortunate truth is that there will always be some credible reasons as to why things will not work for us. Given a chance, almost nothing in life will work for us and that is where we come into picture. We need to go out there and make things happen for ourselves. The reason is pretty simple – “This is your life” and you got to live it the way you want it. We will always have those excuses as to why we did not take a decision or why we did not do something. The question is – “How satisfied will we be with them”
Decision making in itself is a hard thing to do. We don’t need to make it any harder on ourselves. These were our thoughts to make decisions better and faster. Do share your thoughts below and we would love to expand on these ideas further.
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