Decisions are a key part of life – every day we have hundreds of decisions, big and small. From choosing the food to have for breakfast to deciding on the next step for your business or career, decisions are ever-present, and unavoidable. So it goes without saying that not being decisive can cause problems…
There can be lots of reasons why some people are more decisive than others. But here’s the important thing to understand – making decisions is a skill, one that can be learned, one that we can get better at.
If you’d like to learn how to be more decisive, check out the following ten tips. They’ll give you some great pointers on being more decisive.
10 tips to become more decisive
- Good enough is good enough: Often we pause or delay making decisions as we get bogged down by the idea of doing things better or, of better things coming along. More often than not though this pursuit of better doesn’t lead to much more than wasted time and energy. So the sooner you realise that good enough, in the majority of cases, is good enough, the faster you can get on with things and be more decisive.
- It’s ok to make mistakes: Following on from the above point, another key thing to realise is that there are no guarantees in life. You can do everything right and things still might not turn out as you had hoped. And that’s ok. Life is not about guarantees, but rather about learning. And how best go learn but through mistakes. Trying to avoid mistakes is a big reason why people hesitate when making mistakes, so when you come to terms with the fact that mistakes are a part of life, you can make a big leap towards becoming more decisive. As Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, says: “If things aren’t breaking, you aren’t going fast enough.”
- Inactivity is costly: On the face of it it might seem like not making decisions don’t cost anything, but they actually do. Not making a decision is a decision itself, and not usually a good one. When you delay or hesitate about making a decision, you often lose the option to make a decision, which can be costly. Here’s an example – imagine having received a traffic ticket that you believe is inaccurate. But you have only a limited duration to challenge that ticket. So your options are to either make a decision and challenge the ticket, or do nothing and be forced to pay for the ticket. When you make a decision in this instance, you increase the likelihood of the ticket being cancelled. But in the event of not making a decision, you have no option but to pay. So you either made a decision, or the decision was made for you. It can seem easy, the idea of burying your head in the sand and not make a decision, but rarely is it good for you. Refuse to accept the default of indecision. All decisions have a cost associated with them – Grant Cardone
- Perfection is an illusion: As mentioned earlier, in general good enough is good enough. More often than not people delay making decisions because they want things to be perfect. But here’s the thing about perfection – it’s an impossible goal, because the definition of perfection is a highly subjective one, and the goal post keeps moving. So what might seem perfect now is unlikely to be deemed as perfect later on. So rather than trying to achieve perfection, it is better to do the best you can. “There are no perfect plans and no perfect decisions; make educated choices, adapt, modify and overcome” – Craig Lack.
- Know your goal: Not knowing what your goal is a big reason why people procrastinate when it comes to pulling the trigger. Making decisions become easier when you know what your ultimate goal or objective is. So be it a decision about your career, or a decision about your next holiday, know what your objective is. That will make it easy for you to make a decision, as you’ll know that the right decision will be ones that’ll take you closer to your goal. “You’ll learn that each little decision you make is either moving you in the right direction or will be an important lesson you needed to learn in order to achieve your vision” – Melanie Perkins
- Get clarity: In the same way knowing your goal helps you clarity on your direction, knowing the why, what and how helps you get the information you need to make an informed decision. It’s hard to make decisions when you don’t have any information, so get as much information as possible about the decision you need to make. That’ll make it easier for you to be decisive.
- Take your time for big decisions: Being decisive isn’t just about making fast decisions. In fact, when it comes to big decisions, you should not rush into a decision. Big decisions, like decisions related to your career and relationship, should be carefully considered. They need to be clearly thought through. Do not let yourself be pressured into a big decision. Be decisive, by all means, but do not be rash especially when it comes to the big decisions. “You will have my answer when I am goddamned good and ready” – Roberto Orci
- Figure out why you’re hesitating: Understanding the source of your hesitation can be a really useful way to becoming more decisive. What’s causing you to hesitate – is it fear? Anxiety about something? Is it about not knowing enough? Or something else altogether? When you know what is causing your hesitation, you can take steps to figure out how to overcome the cause of your hesitation. Do this enough times and it will become second nature.
- Break big decisions down into small decisions: Making decisions can often seem intimidating because of the size of the decision. So a great way to get over that is to break a big decision down into several small ones. The small decisions will be easier to pull the trigger on, and will add up to the big decision, this helping you achieve the decision you wanted all along.
- Give yourself a time limit: Have you ever noticed how you often get things done at the last minute, especially when there’s a specified deadline? It’s a common habit, one most of us are familiar with. You might procrastinate getting the thing done, but then get it done in record time in order to meet the deadline. Why not take advantage of that? You can do this by setting a concrete deadline for making a decision. When you have a specified time limit, you will be more decisive as you’ll know that you don’t have all the time in the world. The time limit could be whatever you want, from a few minutes to a few days – just make sure that you don’t take too long.
Being more decisive has a lot of advantages, seeing as how we need to make them all the time. So developing this skill is a great idea. Try these ten tips out – they will certainly help you become more decisive in life.
What are your thoughts on this matter? Do you have any tips to share on being more decisive?
Share your thoughts and suggestions about being more decisive in the comments section below.
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