Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tips for deciding quicker

Tips for deciding quicker
By: Marissa Anteby

Do you procrastinate when it comes to finalizing a decision? Instead, do you agonize over the detailed minutia of what otherwise should be a simple choice? Are you stymied, unsure of how to proceed? Have you ever marveled at people who miraculously make perfectly logical snap judgments on the spot? Well, not to worry, you too are capable of finding easy solutions based on what you perceive as minimal information. Your brain is already wired to leap to conclusions within seconds. It filters through thousands of bits of pertinent and non-essential information each minute. In order not to overwhelm you, a large portion of these highly sophisticated thoughts are relegated to your unconscious. This part of your mind employs various problem-solving techniques and adapts swiftly by making assessments, warning of danger, and initiating action. The less you think about 'thinking,' the easier it will be for you to get out of your own way and for the answers to emerge from your subconscious to your rational mind.

Spontaneous decision making is innate in all of us. Yet, somehow we are leery to use this kind of rapid cognition. We falsely believe that gathering more facts will help us make an informed choice. The opposite is true; your initial reaction, preconceptions, and the primary flurry of images that flood your brain are crucial elements in educated decision making. You automatically gather information instantaneously using hunches and gut feelings. Refer to the guide below to make better decisions, faster:

- Identify the problem. Breakdown the scenario to one question.

- Look at the upside and downside. How will your decision impact you and others?

- Give yourself permission to fail. If you learn from what doesn't work, you will be that much closer to what does work. Think of small decisions as practice for bigger ones.

- Remember a good decision. Recalling an earlier success will put you in a positive frame of mind and help you to visualize more of the same for the future.

- Play with different options. What would it look like if you choose this or that?

Keeping your eye on your goal is the surest way to reach it. By seeing all aspects of a situation as a whole, instead of as disconnected isolated parts, you naturally arrive at fuller conclusions. Try to weight your options in thoughtful order of what fits best with your needs and wants. If you're comfortable, chances are you're operating on some form of wisdom from something that worked in the past. Over time you will master the art of consciously capturing and distilling lots of information from previous experiences and projections in to the future, at once. With each new choice you face, you subsequently navigate faster through unstructured data, bring it all together to some semblance of order, and find greater ease in deciding what to do.

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