How to Make Practical Decisions Quickly

Learning to make fast decisions can be a difficult task, but with practice it certainly can be done. Although making decisions too quickly can rebound against you, it doesn’t mean that you can’t learn from your mistakes and still make future decisions fast and effectively.

Investigate Past Decisions

You can easily discover why you made certain decisions in the past by reflecting on your decision making process. Of course, decisions will vary from person to person, and that’s okay.

Perhaps you have challenges with decisions because you keep changing your mind. In thinking through the various possibilities, you just get stuck.

Once you finally choose something, you question the validity of your decision. Or maybe you let your fears make your decisions for you.

Whatever the reasons are, once you understand why you made the decisions you have, you can work on counteracting it moving forward.

Getting Over Your Fears

There are many forms of fear and anxiety that play into decision making. You could be afraid because you think you might fail.

You could be afraid because you’ll have to take responsibility for consequences. You also could be afraid because you simply have too many options to consider.

If you’re afraid of failure, it’s a feeling that nearly everyone has encountered at some time in their life. The reality is that you very well may fail at certain things in life.

It’s inevitable. Even the most successful people have some ideas that fail on their way to success.

However:

You can’t let this fear rule your life.

Instead of being afraid of failure, decide what you’ll do if you do fail. Hopefully, you’ll decide to pick yourself back up and learn from your mistakes.

Regardless of what you fear, you must concentrate on facing it in order to speed up your ability to make quick, effective decisions.

Going With Your Gut Instinct

When you feel that you have too many options or too many things racing through your head, it can help to go with your gut instinct. Your gut instinct is usually right and you get the benefit of a quick decision.

“There can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis.” ― Malcolm Gladwell

Ensure that you’re calm and focused when you’re going with your gut instinct. That way, you can feel confident that you’re going with your true feelings and not something that’s influenced by outside sources.

Use Technology With Caution

New research has shown that people tend to overestimate the likelihood of new technologies’ success; this overconfidence can influence important decisions, such as investment choices.

According to Chris Robert, associate professor of management in the University of Missouri Trulaske College of Business:

“Technology has advanced to the extent that people may not understand how a particular technology works, but they do assume that it will work. We found that people unconsciously associate technology with the notion of success, and this association influences decisions about things like financial decisions, and forecasts of business performance. It is important to determine how this assumption may affect people’s choices because many important decisions involve technology in some fashion.”

Robert and his colleagues described overconfidence in technology and its potential for successful outcomes as the “technology effect.” The researchers proposed that this effect is driven by constant exposure to technology, and especially examples of successful technology, whereas less attention is paid to the myriad technological failures, many of which are never publicized or are viewed as temporary failures.

Robert said consumers, financial advisers and corporate decision-makers could benefit from an awareness of the technology effect and its potential consequences.

“People should be mindful that when they make decisions about many things in their lives, they might unconsciously be influenced by how much they think technology can affect the outcome,” Robert said. “This belief could affect how governments make decisions about allocations of resources, how corporations make decisions about research and development, or how individuals make purchase and investment decisions. Because this bias tends to occur especially when the technology in question is unfamiliar, it would be wise to seek the opinion of someone with expertise in that specific technology, especially when making financial decisions.”

Speeding The Process

If you’re having trouble making the correct decisions, give yourself more time. Take the time to weigh your options and go with a decision whole-heartedly.

Be ready to take responsibility for your actions, even knowing that everything might not go according to plan.

After you strengthen your overall decision making skills, then it’s easier to focus on making your decisions faster. With regular practice, you might notice that you don’t have to change much to make quicker decisions because practice alone will help out.

At the end of the day, you can go over your decisions again. Were you successful?

If you weren’t, can you identify the reasons why? Keep a journal to help you remember which methods work the best for you.

Soon enough, you’ll find yourself making better decisions quicker than ever before.