Are you tying to make a decision atm but have fingers & toes pointing in all directions? Or have you ever tried to make a decision but all the possibilities and outcomes were so confusing for the mind, that you just ended up with spaghetti brain and wasted a load of valuable time or didn’t even end up making a decision at all?!
Decision making can be tough, whether it’s life changing or trivial. I’ve found however, that using the tools of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and even some mathematical equations, can make decision making much easier and safer! So, I’m going to go through some different alternatives – even mathematical for the ones who love some numbers.
Here are some different tips and methods you can try when making a decision:
- Write a pros and cons list – An oldie but a goodie! Sometimes just seeing all the pros and cons laid out in front of you can bring some order to a scattered mind. This is my first ‘go to’ when making a difficult decision. So simple, yet effective!
- Listen to your heart and gut brains as well – Intuition is another big player and definitely shouldn’t be ignored. I’m a firm believer in listening to you ‘gut brain’ and your ‘heart brain’ just as much as your ‘head brain’. In fact, new science is reveals we have three brains. Yep, to be technically coined a brain by science you need your own intrinsic nervous system – hence why our liver or elbow isn’t called a brain as well. They have neurons, can take on information, process it, store it, change and adapt it. If it can learn, it’s a brain! So try to listen and feel what these are telling you too and write down what each one is saying when thinking about your decision and each potential outcome you may have.
- Make decisions in the right state – Notice that when you feel good you tend to make good decisions? And when you are feeling bad you usually make bad decisions? Your state grounds your thinking and your behaviour so make decisions from the right state. If you’re feeling angry, upset, depressed, sad, afraid, frustrated etc you are much more liable to make a reactive decision rather than an informed, considered, choice based decision.
- How do I feel about this?
- How will any others involved feel about this?
- What will be the objective impact of this decision (for me) as I look at it? What will I need to do?
How does this decision objectively impact and functionally fit with my environment?
- When blessed with choice, use the 37% rule – A complex calculation of probability has been boiled down to a simple mathematical equation – The 37% Rule. It basically says that when you have a load of options and a limited amount of time, the best time to make a decision is when you’ve reached or looked at 37% of those options. This is the optimal stopping time and you should make your decision based on the first 37%. You would have gathered enough information to make an informed decision, but you won’t have wasted too much time looking at more options than necessary. At the 37% mark, you’ve maximized your chance of selecting the best of the bunch. This can be used for almost anything – finding the right apartment, employee, parking spot and is a favourite in the dating scene! Here’s an example… Jane wants to find the right partner and settle down so she’s thinking of giving it 100 different dates but shouldn’t consider a long term relationship until after 37 dates then taking the next best suitor who beats all 37 -that’s a lot of men! Or if you’re searching for a new house and you have 20 choices, reject 7 before considering anything.
Powerful decision making is systemic– When making decisions there are always four components of reality to consider. Ask yourself these questions:
There are many more ways to make a decision but that will have to wait until another post! I hope this has helped or will help you in the future and if you’re really having a difficult time then hit reply and we can organise a free discovery session with me.