Decision-making is a necessary and essential task in life. At many points in our lives, we need to make decisions. Most of them are daily decisions for the daily tasks we undertake; some are quick and split-second decisions and yet there are still some decisions that do not come often, but are essential in our lives and can be life-changing. In addition, the decisions we take not only affect ourselves but also the people around us, especially in big and important decisions. Sometimes the idea and anticipation that our decisions can have different outcomes and ramifications can also hold us back from making the right and timely decision, or worse, make any decision at all. Indecision is most of the times a detrimental trait that we need conquer.
Indecision has more than once played a role in significant histories of mankind, and most of them had disastrous consequences. The United States has been dragged into two world wars because of indecision of the government to make decisions that could have averted or immediately stopped the course of the war. Their principle of non-interventionism had been shaken to the core in both wars due to unprovoked attacks from the Axis side of belligerents. Still, there are other non-war events in history that had unfortunate consequences. The sinking of RMS Titanic became one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters because of the indecision of not just the captain but also the crew of the ship at the time of the accident.
Our lives are jointly governed by our thoughts, decisions and actions. The situations we encounter daily can push us to make decisions whether we like it or not. To be an effective decision maker, here are a few simple tips you can follow to conquer indecision.
Trust Your Instincts
Every once in a while we encounter situations that seem to exhaust our mental resources. There would be times that our minds would become overloaded in projecting every possible scenario if this or that decision was made. The more we dwell on these thoughts, the less we become able to come up with decisions. In these cases, it’s time to go for our other natural option: our instincts or gut feelings. Our primitive ancestors had instincts and gut feels to make them survive daily and evolve into more complex and thinking individuals. There’s actually no harm in using our gut feel to push us into making decisions. There can be times when our instincts are correct. And if there are times that they aren’t, we can blame it all on incorrect instinct, and keep our intellectual confidence intact.
Avoid Situations of Making Difficult Choices
Most of us may have observed that multiple-choice type of test questions are very difficult to answer, even for the smart people. The more complex the test, the more it is also difficult to choose from choices that seem to be all correct answers. In actual situations, we can sometimes be placed in situations wherein more choices keep emerging if we keep holding off our decisions longer. Simply choose the good choice while the options are few and save yourself from the dilemma of making difficult choices when deciding on something.
Follow your Conscience
Our conscience can be useful in times of making difficult decisions. When our options for making certain decisions seem to be equally important, we can always choose the option that is morally correct or upright and in turn make a decision based on good and clear conscience.
Accept the Limits of Analysis
Statistical data can be sometimes unreliable when making decisions. Although they can be reliable pieces of information for business, infrastructure and other matters, decisions that require dealing with humans and have factors dependent on forces of nature should not totally rely on statistical data or analysis of it. Chances are you can get overwhelmed by the data you are given or you think you may need and become paralyzed in making decisions based on these data; thus, the term “analysis paralysis”. Our primitive form of analysis using our emotions and feeling about a certain decision or a factor affecting a certain decision can be enough to drive us to make the decision and move forward.
Flip A Coin
When decisions need to be made immediately or on the spot, the simplest and most accessible choice is to flip a coin. Philosophically speaking, the choice of not making a decision is a decision itself. Thus, you already have one option and the other one can come as soon as you formulate one, and choose which of them can be head or tail. if you have two choices to weigh before making a decision, and both options seem to be equally attractive, you can beat the deadlock by assigning each of the options to the head and to the tail and let the flip of the coin choose for you.
Of course, the best way to conquer indecision is to always be ready at all times. Thinking fast and thinking right when it matters can be crucial when we make decisions. A good way to exercise our decision-making skills is to practice it on small things like on ourselves or at home. When we become so used to making decisions in every different situation, we can gradually apply what we learn from this practice into a bigger scene and situation in our lives. So think twice, think wisely and decide timely and correctly.