5 Principles For Better Decision Making

Good decision-making skills can impact all aspects of your life. These tools will help you manage life professionally and personally– and not only about whether or not you should get the new iPhone. Whether you want to decide what subject to study in college or need to make a life-changing decision for your family, you know that decisions can have a big impact on the trajectory of your life. Fortunately, we have 5 tips to help you make better decisions in any aspect of your life.

Identify the precise problem you need to solve

Start by identifying exactly what the problem is and outlining precisely what your choices are. This will help you zero in on the question at hand, rather than allowing your thoughts to spiral to related questions and problems.

As you note your problem, also write down how you will know when the problem is solved. You want this process to have a starting and stopping point. For example, if you want to decide on your college major, you do not need to plan your entire career trajectory at the same time. Know what your focus will be for this decision-making exercise. 

Know your goals related to the problem

After you determine your precise problem, now you need to determine what you want to achieve with your desired outcome. This will help you look towards the future and determine precisely how this question will impact you moving forward. It will help you remain focused on your goals so that you have your priorities in order as you make your decision. 

Arm yourself with knowledge and insight

Next, start to gather the information you need to make a good decision. To use the example of selecting a college major again, you might research the type of work you want to do and what people typically study to enter these fields. If you know anyone who has worked in your targeted fields, you might also ask them personally what they studied in school and if they felt it prepared them well for their chosen field.

Speak to people experienced in the dilemma surrounding your decision, gather relevant research, and begin to evaluate your problem in light of the information you gather. Some people might find it helpful to make charts and lists to organize their thoughts as they gather this information. 

Manage your stress levels

You also want to make sure you evaluate your options calmly and rationally. This will be challenging to accomplish if you let yourself get particularly stressed about the decision. Therefore, you need to make sure you manage your stress levels. If you find yourself starting to feel stressed, then use calming mechanisms, such as spending time outside or going for a walk to clear your mind. You will make the best choices when you feel calm. 

Take your desired action

Once you have properly evaluated your options, make the best decision you can. However, your process is not yet over. Monitor the outcome of your decision and see how well the choice you made allows you to reach your targeted goals. You can then use this insight in future decision-making.

Keeping these tips in mind can help you make better decisions that will guide you towards your future goals.