How much time do you waste each day trying to make decisions? If you’re like most people, you probably spend a good portion of your day struggling with indecision. Even though you’re not consciously aware of it, the way you make decisions plays a large role in determining your success. So, how to make quicker decisions?
Why Is Quick Decision Making Important
Making decisions fast is a skill that can make you feel more empowered, and the results will be better. It’s no secret that people with high self-esteem are more effective leaders, and being in control makes them feel good about themselves.
In the same way, quick decision making is important because having a clear and quick decision-making ability can give you more power in your life.
You can get more done in less time. You can be more productive and spend more time on what you love. You’ll reach your goal faster because quick decisions favor action and continued increased action creates results.
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Benefits Of Quick Decision Making
If you don’t decide, you can’t find out where you stand. This is how decision making works. When you make a decision, you are forced to act. By acting, you’ll gain clarity on what you want.
The benefits of quick decision making quickly will help you to do a lot of things, such as:
- improve your performance
- make your decisions easier and faster
- feel more in control
- increase your productivity
- get more done in less time
- better time management
- feel more empowered and in control
- learn quickly how things really are
- improved concentration
- reduced stress Levels
- increased confidence
- achieve your goals faster
How To Make Decisions Quickly And Effectively
There are a lot of things to think about when making decisions. You have to take into account what you want, what the other person wants, and what’s best for everyone involved. You have to consider your time constraints, what you are trying to achieve, the risks involved, what could you gain with the decision but also what you could loose.
We take some time to think about the consequences of the decisions. We fear the consequences, we fear making the wrong decisions. And the more important is the decision, the harder is to make it because the greater becomes this fear of making the wrong decision.
It can be hard to know what the right decision is, but if you’ll spend too much time deliberating, you might lose the opportunity window.
Sometimes we spend so much time thinking about what to do next that we forget what we’re doing now. Making decisions quickly will force you to focus on the current step and not get distracted by the future.
Making quick decisions means that you don’t let things that don’t matter stop you, and you’re focusing your energy on just one outcome, one thing at a time. This also means, as the famous quote says, that you are taking action towards your destiny.
To make decisions quickly and effectively, you need to:
- Be able to think clearly and stay organized.
- Know your priorities. What’s most important to you in this situation? Figure that out and focus on that.
- Talk it over with someone else. Get another perspective and see if they can help you come up with a solution that works for everyone.
- Quickly create your options
- Quickly evaluate your options, without struggle or paralysis by analysis
- Make a decision and go with it.
- Being able to act, stay motivated, learn and correct one’s own course of action
If you take your decision carefully, you can always choose to make a decision in a different way later. This is one of the reasons why you must practice decision-making techniques as often as possible. You’ll learn to make better decisions because you’ll become more focused.
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How To Make Good Decisions Quickly: A Faster Decision Making Process
The greatest barrier to quick decisions, is the fear of failure.
You’ll find here a simple method for making quicker decisions that will take into account your fear of failure.
When I have to make quick decisions, I use a variation of the usual approach of listing the options, evaluating them and going for one.
I keep these steps but I develop them in a different way.
We’ll get through the classical decision making process with a perspective based on time, risk, action and learning.
And the time is the underlying factor.
Let’s see how it works.
If decision speed is needed, the obvious starting point is to focus on how long you should take to make your decision. Just to give it a name, we’ll call it the “TIME decision making process”.
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1) How Much Time Should I Invest In Making My Decision?
Deciding to invest time in a decision is the first step towards making a decision.
In this case, what you decide depends on how much time you can invest in this decision.
When you are deciding to invest time in a decision, you are committing to an amount of effort that will be invested in that decision.
A) Invest Time Based On Your Priorities And Values
Many decisions are driven by priorities and values.
Every decision you make must answer three questions:
- What do I want to do?
- Why am I doing this?
- How will I feel after this decision is made?
These questions will help you make the right decision and feel better about it afterwards.
It’s important to recognize that every decision involves some level of risk. We can always say, “I don’t want to do that, but I will do that if I have to.” However, when we think of a “have to” situation, we’re usually thinking of something negative: “I have to get a job; I have to study; I have to pay rent; I have to take care of my child”.
What if you were to say, “I will take action because I want to be happy”?
B) Invest Time Based On Your Goals
You can’t do this if you are only looking at one option.
As a decision-maker, you must consider other options, or you will not know what to do.
If you don’t invest time in evaluating different options, you’ll be more likely to make a wrong decision because you won’t be able to evaluate all the options and choose the best one.
It’s important to consider all the factors that affect your decision before you make the right choice. Then choose your course.
C) Invest Time Based On Your Current Situation
When you are making a decision, you need to understand yourself better.
We can’t make decisions if we don’t know what we want and why we want it.
If you are afraid of making the wrong decision, you are in no position to make one.
2) List Your Options For Your Decision
If you have to make a decision, you have to choose between two or more options. To help your mind clarity, just list your options for your decision. Sometimes these options are already given and you have to write them down. Sometimes they’re not yet explicit and you need some brainstorming to write them down.
Listing the options is the first step toward making the right decision.
My suggestion is to use the same points above as a a starting point. It will be quite easy if you have done the “how much invest time” above.
My preferred method to generate options that will be meaningful for you is to scan this checklist and write down whatever comes to mind; if any one if these options leaves your mind empty, just skip it after a little thought and go to the next one.
How to generate meaningful options:
- write down what you could do in agreement with your priorities and values;
- write down what you would love to do
- write down what you could do to get closer your goals
- write down what you could do to have what you want
- write down what you know you “should” do
- write down what you are afraid of but you know would help you a lot
- write down what you would do if you weren’t afraid
- write down what you would do if you knew you couldn’t fail
There’s no reason to struggle with this. Give yourself two minutes for every item. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what to write. See with what you come up at the end.
Make another “run” if you don’t have at least 3 options (unless of course is just a YES or NO decision…).
3) Evaluate Your Options
When I’m going for a quick decision, I use the 3R approach which is designed to help you evaluate your options for a quick decision. It allows you to step back and look at your options from three different perspectives:
- READINESS: How much time is required to execute this option and how much you can afford to invest in this decision?
- RISK: What is the level of risk in this option?
- RECOVER: How long does it take to recover from this option if it goes wrong?
Readiness: Evaluate How Much Time Is Required To Execute This Option And How Much You Can Afford To Invest In It
Putting into practice every option will have a price. Not all options will take the same effort on your side and will deliver the results in the same time. Also sometimes options require some further preparation time on your side. Focus on your time cost, and see if it is rewarded by this option benefits. A decision taken without knowledge of consequences is no decision at all.
Discard the options that require too much of your time, or that require too much effort to be made ready.
Risk: Decide How Much Risk You Want To Take On This Decision
Every decision we make carries some degree of risk.
As a decision-maker, you should be aware of the level of risk and how much you are willing to risk.
If you decide that you want to invest a large amount of time and energy in a decision but you don’t know how you’ll feel about it after you’ve made it, then that’s a risk that you’re willing to take.
Evaluate the risks and decide how much will be safe this option, if you go for it. Discard options that are safe enough to try.
Recover: Decide How Much Time Is Needed For You To Recover From This Decision If Things Go Bad
Your decision to invest time in a decision may not turn out to be a good one. It’s important to understand what kind of impact the decision will have on you.
The longer the recovery period will be, the more likely you will feel negative consequences.
Imagine what could go wrong and what the consequences would be. If you can’t handle these consequences, then don’t invest time in this option.
The lower the recovery time, the safer is the option to try, even when you are unsure of the outcomes.
Discard the options that have a too long recovery time.
4) Decide, Take Action And Adjust The Outcomes
It’s important to focus on your options, not the decision-making struggle.
When you are focusing on your options, you’re putting yourself in a good position to evaluate the decision and make the right choice.
Choose an option that is ready, low risk and has a low recovery time. If there are many of these, just take one.
This approach will help you to take action immediately if needed or let you understand that you have some more time to think about it. In either case, it is in your interest to take action as soon as possible.
It will let you more time to find out if your options are working, to recover if it is needed and go for another option.
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Becoming A Fast Decision Maker
Making quick decisions rarely is not enough if you want to rise the quality of your fast decisions. You have to become a fast decision maker.
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How To Be A Quick Decision Maker
To be a quick decision maker you need to be clear about your goals, your values, and your emotions. You need to know the difference between your desires and your needs.
Then, you need to learn how to distinguish between what you want and what you need.
This means exercising in the first step of the fast decision making process, so you’ll learn better and better your values, your priorities, your goals, your current situation. This will make all your decisions faster.
And you’ll understand that the quality of your life is not a matter of luck, it’s in your hands.
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How To Improve Your Quick Decision Making Skills
I suggest this little exercise to help you improve your quick decision making skills. Keep a notebook and do this for a week:
- write down the decisions you took yesterday (the ones you remember); include date, time, location
- write down the consequences you expected
- write down also the immediate consequences you already had (if there are any);
- set a calendar for a week later;
- after that week, write the further consequences that come out; if there were any consequences that you didn’t like, write down what you did to cope with them.
Get more at importance of decision-making skills.
To develop your fast decision making skills you have to be clear
In fact, this is the only way to learn fast decision-making skills quickly.
You need to be clear about your goals, your values, and your emotions.
You need to know the difference between your desires and your needs.
Then, you need to learn how to distinguish between what you want and what you need.
You need to understand that the quality of your life is in your hands.
It’s not a matter of luck.
If you’re not happy with where you are, you can make changes.
Improve Your Ability To Make Quick Decisions
When you are making decisions quickly, you are exchanging time you could use to think more on your decision, with time you use to learn how thing really work around you. So you’ll learn better how consequences come from your quick decision, and what could work better the next time you have to make a quick decision. So making quick decisions will improve your ability to make quick decision.
The above exercise is like the 5th step of the TIME decision making process. It’s the learning part.
Commit to exercise in the TIME decision making process and it’s companion exercise, and you’ll develop the habit to make quick and effective decisions.
Developing the habit of making good decisions quickly will enable you to make the right decisions for yourself. This will improve your ability to make quick decisions and will allow you to get on with your life and to have more control over it. And, as Tony Robbins said, start creating your destiny.
Conclusion: How To Make Quicker Decisions
In conclusion, to make quicker decisions you have to replace thought with action, analysis with learning, planning with flexibility.
Sometimes you’ll be right, sometimes things will go wrong, but you didn’t lose time overthinking and if you applied fast recovery options, you’ll be back on track in no time, but with much greater experience.
So you’ll not only be going towards your goals, but you’ll discover how things really work and you’ll be able to make better decisions in the future. You’ll be more likely to make the right decisions and less likely to make a mistake.
If you wait for the perfect decision, it will never happen.
Developing your decision making skills is mandatory for your short-term and long-term success. Discover how to make it easier make your decisions with my free 5 day overcoming decision fatigue challenge.
To go even further, check my new “Fast and Good Decision Making to Unlock Your Life Right Now” course