Tips For Making Critical Decisions
Every single day we make dozens of decisions, some are obviously more important than others. We all have our own approach to the decision-making process. Some people just sleep on it and wake up with a viable solution. On the other hand, some people attack the problem like a tough piece of steak and chew on it until all the flavor is gone.
Before you spin yourself into a tangled web of uncertainty, we’ve looked at the best-proven system for making critical decisions so you can choose the right outcome even for the toughest decisions.
1. Take A Deep Breath
Getting yourself into a nervous frenzy is not going to help you at all. If you’re overly panicky, you’re going to keep going around in circles like a hamster in a wheel. You’ll wear yourself out, but you’ll get nowhere. Stop and take a deep breath. Go for a walk if you need to clear your head but step away from the issue in front of you for a moment. Play a mindless game on your device for a while. You’ll still be subconsciously analyzing your options, but the act of doing something that does not require critical thinking will clear your head so you can look at the problem from a clearer perspective.
2. Compare Your Options
This step involves looking at the issue in front of you from all angles. As an example, you may be looking for a new place to live. Regardless of whether you plan on buying or renting, the same types of questions will pop up. Do you choose the cheaper place, further away from work or do you go for the pricier place and have a short commute? The same can be said for choosing different job offers. One job may have a higher salary, but the hours may be unpredictable and you may not really like the work. The other job pays a little less but you’ll work regular hours and you may enjoy the work more.
3. Identify And List All The Pros And Cons
Mulling over an important decision is hard enough when all the information just keeps scrambling around in your mind. As tedious as it may seem, grab a piece of paper and a pen, draw a line down the middle and list pros on one side, cons on the other. Then, take each of your options one at a time and list all the pros and cons you can think of. Even if these seem insignificant, they can help ease the critical decision-making process. We humans are visual creatures and seeing all of the vital information in front of us will help us evaluate the crucial points.
4. Create A Points System
Once you’ve listed the pros and cons of your decision, create a points system. The points system can be as simple as 1 to 5 points depending on how important each pro or con is to you. Then go through your list again and allocate those points to each item in the list. Once you tally up those points, you’ll have a clearer picture of what is more important for you.
5. Consider All The Possible Outcomes
This is one of the most important considerations when making a critical decision because, at the end of the day, you will need to live with that decision. Will you be happy with the outcome? How will your decision affect the people around you? Think of all the possible consequences that may result from your final decision and then ask yourself if you would find this outcome acceptable.
6. It’s Okay To Seek Advice
There’s a lot to be said for being fiercely independent and many people have come to rely less and less on others. Every so often though, we need to let our guard down and ask for advice. It could be from a family member, a trusted friend, a colleague or a professional. It really depends on the decision you need to make. As an example, if you are married with a family and you want to accept a job offer in another city, you will need to discuss this decision with your spouse and your children if they are old enough. Similarly, if you want to take a lower-paying job, you may need to seek the advice of a financial consultant to make sure you’ll still be able to make ends meet. Your family, friends, and colleagues may have already been through a similar situation so you may be able to glean a good deal of useful information from the perspective of someone with experience.
7. Sleep On It
Never rush into an important or critical decision, especially one that you will need to live with for months or even years. Most people will appreciate the importance of considering the process of making critical decisions so they will understand you need to take the time to adopt a proven system like this one for making those all-important, critical decisions.