5 Tips for Effective Decision-Making

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Decisions, big and small, are made everyday. From deciding what to have for breakfast to negotiating a big deal at work, our lives are defined by the decisions we make — which is why making the right one can be so difficult.

Decisions vary in importance and so, it’s hard to generalize how every one of them should be made. However, at the core of every decision are two options — each with its pros and cons. Decisions are so difficult to make because there is no clear cut answer. Otherwise, there would be no decision to be made – the path to take would be obvious. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong. There is, however, the best.

Here are a few things to remember when making a decision:

1) Know All Your Facts

Certain decisions can be very complex and the only way to make your best judgement is if you know all your facts. Look at it from every angle and peel away the layers. Understand the pros and cons of all your options and weigh each one. The worst decision you can make is one where you don’t understand the whole picture.

2) What Advice Would You Give Others?

It can be hard to make a decision when you are affected by the direct outcome. Try looking at it from another perspective. If someone else was in the same situation, what advice would you give to them? The answer might surprise you. Often times, we give other people a more honest answer than we do ourselves.

3) Be Cautious Of Outside Influence

Since decisions affect not only you but the people around you, it is important to listen to others’ opinions as well. It would be selfish not to. However, at the same time, don’t let outside opinions be your main influence. You ultimately have to do what you feel is the best decision for you.

4) Have A Backup Plan

We’ve all made bad decisions before. It’s OK. There are always opportunities to right our wrongs. Be prepared for when things go wrong. Have a backup plan.

5) Don’t Overthink It

Here is the most important thing to remember: don’t overthink it. Yes, decisions can be scary. Making the wrong one can change a lot of things. However, nothing in life is permanent. Even if the outcome isn’t what you imagined, you can pick yourself back up again. Often times, the best answer is the one you think of right away. Trust your gut.

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