Every day we make a gazillion of decisions – what to eat, when to get up, what to buy, how to plan the day, what to answer when being asked etc. Sometimes our decisions affect not only us, but also other people, their present and future.
After years of having issues with making important decisions, I learnt a lot and came up with ten key points I want to share with you. This is Part 1 of this post.
- Often you have to make decisions when you’re lacking some or all the information needed. Be ready to face this. It is normal. This happens very often especially in business and in investments. What can you do? Train your “decision-making muscles”, i.e. make such decisions. Yes, simply make them. You probably will never have all the information you need or want. So work with what you have. Sometimes I recall a good saying: “The moment when the last button is sewed on the jacket of the last soldier will never happen”, meaning exactly what I just mentioned – you will never be ready to everything.
- Inability to make decisions quickly. Fight it. For example, I have my own rule: when I collected and analyzed all the information needed (or in most of the cases all the information available to me), I give myself 1 minute to make the decision. It can be hard, but it is just a matter of self-discipline – never waste time. You also should have an algorithm how to choose between approximately equal options – a coin toss or something similar and easily doable.
- Decision = Responsibility. By the way, how would you define responsibility? I mean how to re-phrase it without saying words “responsible” or “responsibility”. My version is: responsibility is when you equal your actions and the result, so you proclaim yourself an author of this result if you are an author of action. And you should always do it, no matter if the result is good or bad. Coming back to decisions, every time you made a decision, you took responsibility over what happens next (including the things out of your control).
- Sometimes a bad decision can be better than a good one. Sounds weird, but that is true in many cases. A bad decision can be better than a good one provided that a bad one was made in time and a good one was made way too late. Bear in mind the time factor, or a time multiplier. When too late, this multiplier can be zero.
- Your main enemy is a fear of failure. And his little sibling – Procrastination (this cool-looking buzzword means waste of time, lingering because a person is afraid of starting something uncomfortable or something which potentially may fail). The most important thing to understand is that you are not a looser just because you failed. Failure is just one step on your road to success. It is important to make next steps. Of course, you should not repeat the mistakes, but I believe you will not. And you should not be afraid of mistakes. Moreover, I would suggest to carefully collect every mistake – it educates you. The only thing you must be scared of is a deliberate burning of time in order to postpone possible mistakes and failures. You will lose much more if you don’t start rather than if you start and fail.
Part 2 can be found here