Decision-Making Made Easy

You see a decision looming on the horizon. It haunts your dreams and keeps you from sleeping. What if you make the wrong choice? What if another path reveals itself and now you have three choices to choose from? Don’t fret! Decisions can be simple to make if you use an appropriate method of evaluation.

Grab a sheet of paper and a pen and let’s get started!

Step 1: Define your problem and/or decision. This will only take a few moments. Write out the decision you must make or the problem you are facing. Try to keep this as clear and concise as possible. Don’t state reasons why or the background of the issue, and try to keep it to one sentence — you’ll be able to unpack all the details later.

Step 2: Gather the facts and data. This may require a little research. If your decision is between taking a vacation or not, the information you may want to gather would be the cost of the vacation. This step could include anything from looking around on the Internet to finding a person who has personal experience making this decision. Take a little time to gather all the facts necessary to make an informed decision.

Step 3: Compare your choices. When comparing products, you generally have two different components: subjective and objective. Subjective is when your reasoning is based on personal feelings, opinion, instincts, or intuition. Objective is when your reasoning is backed up by facts; in other words, it’s definitive.

The easiest way to do a comparison study is to make a list of nonnegotiables – things you know you want based on whichever choice you make. When you’re finished with the list, compare it to the subjective and objective components of each part of your decision. Do a comparison and make a selection.

Step 4: Use a balance of logic and common sense while also incorporating your feelings. The best way to do this is to ask these questions:

  • Does this decision make sense? Why? Why not?
  • What risks, if any, are involved?
  • What can be done to minimize or eliminate these risks?
  • Is this decision based more on your emotions or logic? Remember, a well-founded decision is somewhat balanced.

Step 5: Make your final decision. Decide which choice you want to make. Remember, this is a yes or no decision; there is no in between.

Step 6: Implement your decision. There’s no time like the present! Your choice may be far down the road or it could be tomorrow. Either way, it’s always smart to start while you have the time. Now all you have to do is begin developing definitive plans for your vacation or buying the tickets for that movie you’ve been wanting to see. It’s up to you to put into action the decision you’ve made.

That was easy, right? Next time you have a decision to make, whether it is big or small, don’t stress about it. There’s no need to shed any anxious tears. All you have to do is define the problem or decision, do the research, compare your choices, make sure to balance logic and feelings, make the choice, and implement your decision.

Other resources available on decision-making:

Decision Making Confidence

ProGrid Evaluation Solutions