6 Tips to Help Make Decisions


I’ve decided to participate in NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month. For the month of November, I’m going to post every day. This is day 8.

If you know me at all, you’re probably laughing over this title. I’ll let the rest of you in on the joke to. You see, I’m not really a very good decision maker. In fact, I’ve been called the most indecisive person ever by more than one person. So, given my nature, I’ve had to learn a few tricks to help me out along the way. Perhaps they’ll help you as well.

1. Think about the context and how important the decision is in relation to the greater picture of life. Sometimes stepping back in this way helps you see the choices in a different light, or helps realize that either way will really be okay.

2. Write the choices down on little pieces of paper and pick out of a hat. If there are only two choices, write each one down a few times each so there are more than two pieces of paper in the hat. When you open up the paper and see the answer you’ll have a quick gut-reaction of happiness or disappointment. That initial reaction will help you know which choice you really, truly do want to go with. You do not need to go with what’s on the paper. The paper trick just helps you to find your decision. This can be used for large, important decisions, or small and inconsequential ones. I used this trick to help decide where to go to college. Seriously.

3. Decide on one choice in your mind and visualize where that choice would lead. Then go back and visualize the results if you picked the other choice.

4. Forget the decision at hand. Make a few unrelated, unimportant, and meaningless decisions as a mental warm up. For example: red or blue; left or right; yes or no; inside or outside; cake or pie? Pick the answers quickly. Now go back to what your original decision is. You’ll have more confidence in your ability to make choices.

5. Write down the choices for your decision. Follow this with the results or consequences of each decision. Seeing it written out helps to make the options more realistic and can help you more readily see which is the best one to go with.

6. Ask someone for their opinion or input. Sometimes another perspective helps clarify the decision.

Do you have any tips for making decisions?






2 responses to “6 Tips to Help Make Decisions”

  1. Rosy Avatar

    My mum uses #2 as well, though she flips a coin for the binary choice option. I have tried it too and it can be useful!

    Another approach I have used for making a complex decision, like whether to take a new job offer or not, is to write down ALL the pros and cons for each option, no matter how trivial or huge, and then assign each point a value – can be positive or negative, and I usually use -3 to +3, and then I count up the totals to see which has the higher value overall. The result can sometimes be surprising!

    And then a final trick that I use for trivial decisions, when I am so tired I can’t think (this one came in handy when I was writing my thesis) — I would call my mum from the supermarket and get her to tell me what to buy 🙂

    1. Bread and Beta Avatar
      Bread and Beta

      Thanks for the extra tips Rosy – I like the idea of assigning a point value and adding everything up. Very scientific approach.