How to Make Better (And More Informed) Decisions

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chessWe’ve all been there, trying to make a (seemingly) tough decision while battling emotional fatigue and clouded by the opinions of others. When it comes time to make the call, or even in that split second moment, you make the decision then only 30 seconds later you may have made the wrong choice. Anyone who’s stood for 20 minutes in the cereal aisle can relate.

What if making better and more informed decisions in both your professional and personal life could be a lot simpler, giving you the clarity you need to make important decisions with confidence and ease? Here are five tips to making better and more informed decisions.

1. Avoid decision fatigue – Every day all day we are bombarded with choices that we have to make. From scheduling your day to what to make for dinner, we are constantly having to make choices. But when we have to make too many choices, we begin to not see the bigger picture. Stop worrying about the little decisions so when it comes time to make the big ones, your mind is fresh and ready to think clearly.

2. Seek the advice others you trust – The advice of a mentor or colleague can always help, however, avoid seeking the advice of too many people. This can often cloud your judgement, and lead to emotional involvement, which will further obscure the obvious.

3. Use the 10-10-10 rule – business writer Suzy Welch has developed three questions as part of her “10-10-10” rule: How will you feel about it 10 minutes from now? How will you feel about it 10 months from now? How will you feel about it 10 years from now?

4. Listen to your gut – It’s been said a million times, but it’s great to have a reminder. When your guts talk, listen. This often comes down to quieting your mind so your instinct can kick in. As educated human beings, we are trained to think  things through and analyze the results, when in fact our instinct often knows, and the answer can be right in front of us.

5. Balance your body and mind – When you’re body is healthy, your mind is under less emotional stress, and everything is better. So get out there.

6. Commit fully, even when you’re wrong – The key that many important decision makers use is commitment. Even if it becomes obvious that you were wrong, be grateful that you have the capacity to see your mistakes, and learn from them. Making a decision (even if it’s a bad one) will only strengthen your decision making muscle, and you will be better prepared for next time.