Having trouble making a decision? The reason why you have trouble making decisions is that making decisions is always a new thing for you. Every decision you have to make is in a new context in which you don’t know the consequences. Nevertheless, when you have a process that allows you to decide between several options, it is easier and faster to make decisions (and accurate ones).
Knowing yourself better will help you since that will allow you to analyze the different options that lie ahead. Also, it will let you analyze how each of the options will affect your life. The more you know yourself and the more you know what your needs are. Consequently, the easier it will be for you to choose and make decisions. So, are you having trouble making a decision? Try these five steps:
1. What decision do I have to make?
The first step is to be clear about what decision you have to make. Define what the objective of this process is and make a list of all the options you have available.
2. Get informed about each of the options.
It may take a few seconds, a few minutes, or a few hours, depending on the difficulty of the decision you are making but set a limit. That will help you focus on what is important. For each of the options you have written, write the information that you think is relevant. Try to write down only the things that are important to you. On the other hand, don’t forget to write down things that can help you make the final decision.
3. Set the date and time to decide.
If it is a significant decision for your life, you know it will be hard to decide. The best way not to extend the decision indefinitely is to have a deadline to decide. If you do not have a time limit to make your decision, two things can happen. Firstly, you extend the decision until an external factor forces you to take it without adequate time for reflection. Secondly, you never end up making the decision and miss the opportunity to do something that can be important.
4. Assess all options using the rule of 10, 10, and 10.
Developed by Suzy Welch in the book 10 minutes, 10 months, 10 years, this rule helps you consider how you will be and how you will feel in the short, medium, and long term. It does not tell you what to prioritize (short, medium, or long term), but the idea is to have all the options in mind to decide better. So, take the first option on your list and answer these three questions:
- How will you feel and how will you be in ten minutes if you decide to move forward with that option?
- If you decide to move forward with that option, how will you feel and how will you be in ten months?
- How will you feel and how will you be in ten years if you decide to move forward with that option?
Repeat the same process with each of the options, and you will see that, after this process, it will be very easy to discard most of the options. Nevertheless, keep in mind that, when answering all three questions, it may be that some of them do not make much sense if they do not affect you in the medium/long term at all.
5. Make the decision.
Once you have assessed all the options using the rule of 10, 10, 10, it does not make much sense to continue extending the decision. The time has come to decide. With this process, you can assess all the options in the appropriate way to decide the best option for you. If you always do it like this, you will see how taking this routine will help you apply it easily to most of your decisions.