Stop Making Bad Decisions

2 strategies to learn how to make better decisions.

We all make bad decisions. Some of us more than others.  Being the uber rational person I am (stop sniggering), have rationalized WHY it’s worth the effort to learn how to make better decisions.  Here it goes.  We all make a ton of decisions every day. These decisions add up.  It’s a numbers game really.  If we can make a slight improvement in our decision making process, the impact of that improvement, over the course of our life time will have a exponential effect on the quality of our lives.

Sure, any given decision might not have a huge impact on our lives, but the cumulative effect of all our decisions will.  Which is why it’s worth learning how to think better and make better decisions.

Which is why I loved this article by FastCompany – on 7 ways to make better decisions: There 7 tips are:
1) Get better information (obvious good idea)
2) Avoid pitfalls (learn the logical fallacies and try to avoid them in your thinking – again – good advice)
3) Look at your history – don’t repeat mistakes
4) Check in with yourself (ie: don’t make decisions when  hungry)
5) Take care of yourself (don’t make decisions when tired)
6) Make time to think. (you have to practice thinking to think well)
7) Analyze well (ie: learn from your mistakes)

This is a great list – and it’s a long winded way of saying – learn how to think critically.

Here is my way to make better decisions.  I’m not saying don’t do the FastCompany way.  I’m just saying, my way will complement their way and you will have more fun at the same time.

Think of Three.

The biggest fallacy we fall prey to is the false dichotomy. We limit our decision making to either or scenarios.  Either we are awake or we are asleep. Either we eat in or we take out.  Either I date this person or that person.  Our natural tendency to think in duality hinders our decision making.

So the next time you find yourself thinking either or. Think of three.  What are you going to do for dinner, eat in, take out, or .. go out to dinner.  Maybe you can skip dinner and just have dessert!

The point of this is to expand your options so that you don’t limit your solutions to the most obvious choices. Once you open yourself up to the other possible solutions to your problem, you will often find that one of those other options is actually a really good choice and will give you the best chance of success.

The world is not black and white and you should not limit your decision making to only the black and white options.  Think of three and then maybe four or five and then choose the option you think is best given – what’s real, what’s moral and what’s likely to work.

This little trick is easy, it’s fun and it will definitely improve your decision making.

So, which decision making framework do you prefer?  Mine or FastCompany?  Or both – ok there is three again.

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