If you want to know how to make faster decisions, you need some kind of decision making system in place. And like any other system, when it works smoothly and easily it becomes more efficient. This means, of course, that the first thing to do is to put a system in place.
I know, I know! Some of you may have been hoping to skip this step. But before you do anything, consider this.
Do you want to know how to make faster decisions because you need to make a particular decision quickly and you're prepared to put up with whatever long-term consequences come along?
Or do you want to put a solid decision making model in place that will teach you how to make faster decisions that work every time? Where not only the short-term but also the long-term consequences are in your favour?
If it's the former, I have found just the thing for you! A decision making novelty! It would actually be funny except for the fact that some people actually live their lives this way!
If you want to know how to make faster decisions using a dependable decision making model that uses rational thinking plus your own intuition, that you already use, read on…
If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six sharpening my axe.
- Abraham Lincoln
We have already looked at the idea that If you're in a bad state, and you're having a bad day, you will probably make bad decisions. And if you're having a great day, and you're in a great state, you make much better decisions.
Being in a good state also allows you to make faster decisions because there is less stress, worry and emotional overload to slow down your thinking processes.
People who work in emergency situations, such as medics and firefighters. These people regularly make very rapid decisions in life and death situations.
What's that got to do with your wanting to know how to make faster decisions? The results of the study of these professionals was very interesting.
First of all, they were not comparing and contrasting alternatives. They were not weighing the pros and cons of different options.
Instead they chose a plan that they considered would get the job done in the best way possible in the moment, and they implemented that. This makes for a much faster process.
The second thing they did was monitor what was happening in the action phase and if it became obvious at any stage that things were not going according to plan, they changed their decision and picked another plan of action.
This means, firstly, that they were not afraid of making mistakes, and secondly, when they recognized a mistake they were willing to admit it and move on.
This fear of making a mistake can be paralysing. It is often called analysis paralysis, and it means that a person can spend so much time analyzing the possible consequences and potential mistakes in deciding, that in the end they are paralysed and do nothing. Not exactly a formula for how to make faster decisions!
Another trick is to make decisions before you need to. Many people leave decisions until the last minute and this adds a time pressure to the stress they already have about the decision.
Don't do this to yourself!
If you set a deadline for deciding something and you make the decision beforehand, it means you have spent less time on the decision and it was faster than if you waited until the last minute. (Yep... that last bit was a stretch!)
But it does mean that you have less stress when making the decision. It also means that you can relax and take your time implementing the decision, and if anything goes wrong, you have time to amend it.
'Wish for your deepest desires', she said, and when I asked if they'd come true, she said 'They always do, so get them out in the open while you're still young enough to correct any serious mistakes.'
- Brian Andreas