Recently we have noticed that we are finding it increasingly difficult to make decisions especially ones on so which so much seems to rest. We’re not too bad on the little ones – what to eat, what to watch and what to wear but life (after all that’s why we designed Morello Life – to help us all make these little decisions and make everyday a little easier).
It is the life changing decisions about whether to move house, which schools to apply for and which direction to go next which can be emotionally draining. Maybe its a ‘getting older’ thing when we know we have less time to correct any wrong turns but it can definitely feel overwhelming.
Making decisions is what it is to be human but if you’re struggling then here are 5 ways to make the process easier as you work through all the possibilities.
N.B. MP’s – please read!
1. LAYOUT YOUR OPTIONS
If like us, you love a list (see our Laundry List) then it always helps to see your options written down in black and white. You need to list the pros ‘v’ cons, rankings, financials and qualities before you can see the bigger picture and directly compare one to the other. If you want to really ‘geek’ it up, you can even create a spreadsheet. Whatever works for you. The idea is that looking at all the individual aspects of your choices will help you take a clearer view.
It is also useful to imagine the ‘worst case scenario’ as often it is not nearly as bad as we think. Most decisions don’t matter as much as we think they do and recognising that can remove the anxiety of making the wrong choice.
2. DON’T DELAY DECISIONS
We all need time to process any big decisions and yet sometimes the longer we give ourselves, the more overwhelmed we feel. Know your deadlines, whether external or personal and make yourself decide by this date. If you find yourself in difficulty deciding on a deadline then give yourself a self-imposed deadline. The last thing you need is for your indecision to result in a decision (Brexit ring a bell anyone?). The best result is a decision made wisely yet consisely.
3. AVOID INFORMATION OVERLOAD
Research is great to a point. You will need to gather basic information to make your decision. However, information overload will result in diminishing returns as your brain will be bogged down with detail and choice. The same is true of asking other people’s advice. Too many opinion’s will cloud yours. The solution is to keep it simple. Research the important stuff, ask only one or two valued friends whose option you trust and then decide.
4. TRUST YOUR GUT
Gut instinct is an incredible thing. Often we know what our basic instinct is telling us and yet we are trying to fight it with rationale. Your intuition is an important decision maker and can be an important source of information. It is important however that you don’t confuse your intuition with impulsiveness or even use it to prevent a difficult decision. It is best used as part of the equation. If your gut is telling yourself something then experts recommend trying to understand the why behind the feeling. It is also useful to sit with ‘choice for a bit’ and consider how it makes you feel. There is a tool called 10/10/10 that asks you to imagine how you might feel 10 minutes from the decision, 10 days from the decision and 1o months. Usually any stomach churning anxiety will give you an idea of what feels right and what doesn’t. Intuition/gut instinct is best used as part of the equation. Often your gut feeling will be backed up by your research which will leave you feeling more confident in making the call.
5. ACCEPT THAT YOU CAN’T HAVE IT ALL.
Whether we like it or not, decisions force us to close the door on other possibilities, small ones and big ones. It is not realistic to think otherwise and yet this is difficult. If we take one path we can’t take another. If we take one career route it may be too late to start again, for example if we decide to stay at home with the kids we may not reach the heady heights of career success we had hoped for.If we go back to work, we will miss lots of childhood moments we can’t get back. No body gets it all (well only a few lucky sods who have managed to live the dream and combine a well paid glamorous career with being at home). Sometimes, making a decision means there is no going back but staying in a state of paralysis won’t help anyone. Psychologists recommend living in the present. Don’t play the ‘what if’ game but play the hand you have chosen to the best of your ability.
- LAY IT OUT AND CONSIDER WORST CASE SCENARIO
- GIVE YOURSELF A DEADLINE AND STICK TO IT
- AVOID INFORMATION OVERLOAD
- TRUST YOUR GUT INSTINCT
- REMEMBER YOU CAN’T HAVE IT ALL
REMEMBER THAT THERE ARE NO RIGHT OR WRONG DECISIONS. JUST DIFFERENT FORKS IN THE ROAD.
So, I hope we may have helped you with any dithering. Make your decisions and be happy with them.
Happy decision making!