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10 ways to make better decisions

10 ways to make better decisions

Making decisions is easy but coming up with better ones isn’t. At times, in our desire to rush things, we fail to consider significant components that would have made our decisions more meaningful. Here are some tips on how you can make choices that have a lasting impact.

Tip 1: Don’t be paralysed by your fear of consequences
Thinking too much about the outcome of your choices is not always good. Instead of focusing on what you should do, think of how people will react to your decision. Always remember that whatever the future holds, people will have something to say that can displease or hurt you. If you know you did something for a worthy cause, then there’s nothing to be bothered about.

Tip 2: Trust your gut
While it is a common notion that good decisions require time, an instinctive choice is just as good. Sometimes, your reasoning can be clouded when you’re bombarded with information. Pay attention to your instincts for they might be telling you a significant yet overlooked story.

Tip 3: Consider your emotions
You may think that emotions are the enemy of decision-making but, in fact, they’re integral to it. Our brains store emotional memories of past choices which we use to inform present decisions. If you’ve already made a particular decision before, recall how it made you feel. Did it leave you satisfied or were you remorseful after making that choice?

Tip 4: Play the ‘devil’s advocate’
It’s easy to defend and justify a favoured opinion and use all the evidence to support it and ignore anything to the contrary, but one must learn to look at the other side of the coin. There are times when we fail to be objective, that’s why it’s important to assume a different role and assess your situation from a different point of view.

Tip 5: Keep your eye on the ball
Steer clear of irrelevant facts and figures that can ruin your focus. If what you’re after is a sound decision, concentrate on the things that truly matter.

Tip 6: Beware of social pressure
If you suspect that you’re making a choice because you think it’s what your boss would want, think again. If you’re a member of a group, never assume that the group knows best, and if you find everyone agreeing, play the contrarian. At the end of the day, it is you who’s responsible for your choices; make sure that these choices are things you can stand up for.

Tip 7: Look at it another way
Our choices are skewed by the way the alternatives are presented because we prefer options that seem to involve gains and are averse to those that seem to involve losses. One helpful step is to write down the pros and cons of a particular decision.

Tip 8: Don’t cry over spilt milk
It is understood that the more we invest in something, the more committed we feel towards it. However, always remember that what’s past is past and we should accept the result of our decisions. Don’t waste your time wallowing in regrets. Channel your energy into things that require more attention.

Tip 9: Limit your options
Don’t be trapped in the paradox of choice – that having more choices is the best. Even in situations when a choice seems far too important to simply satisfy, try to limit the number of options you consider.

Tip 10: Have someone else choose
If you continue to have misgivings, never hesitate to ask for someone’s help. Sharing your woes with someone you trust can sometimes do wonders.

Contributed by Joanne Ng, Regional Business Support Manager, Appco Group Asia.