The Art of Making a Decision, What they Never Told You About Decisions & Clutter - Part II
Continuing Where We Left Off
In my last blog post, I explained how clutter is the result of unmade decisions. I then provided 4 tips for making decisions. Here are 5 more truths about decision-making to help guide you.
1. Often there is no wrong decision
While we often obsess about decisions, many of them have no "wrong" choice. Chocolate, vanilla, mint chocolate chip--all great ice cream flavors. You can’t go wrong--you just need to choose! Which leads me to my next tip about decision-making...
2. Most decisions are low-stakes
Most decisions are not life changing. To determine if your decision is low stakes ask yourself: If I make a mistake are there major repercussions? If the answer is “No” then your decision is low stakes. If so, don’t invest too much time in making the decision.
For example, you may ask yourself: Should I donate this $20 alarm clock that I haven’t used in 5 years--what if I need it? Donating it is low stakes. Worst case scenario, you can buy another one.
3. Set parameters for making decisions
When it comes to purchasing, today’s market brings endless possibilities. You can easily get sucked into a rabbit hole of online information. So before you even begin researching, determine the parameters you will use to choose your purchase. Will you find 2, 3 or 4 possibilities? What are the primary factors -- price, a particular must-have function, ratings? Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if you choose vacuum cleaner A, B, or C. They all have decent ratings, clean the floor and won’t break the bank. So set your parameters, just choose one, and move on already!
4. Set a time limit for making decisions
Time is such an important parameter that I felt it warranted its own special tip. If you don’t set a time parameter, you could end up researching a decision forever. So before you start researching your next vacation spot, make sure to set a time parameter. Will you be making a decision by the end of day, week or month? Set a time limit, stick to it, and make a decision with the information you have.
5. Use chunking to break down larger decisions
Are you redoing your kitchen? Congrats--that’s so exciting! But it’s also very daunting with tons of decisions involved. Use chunking to break down your decisions. Create a spreadsheet (organizers love a good spreadsheet) listing each decision to be made, such as choosing a contractor, deciding on a layout, purchasing countertops, lighting, etc. Then create a time frame for each decision. Now you can confidently attack each one.
Practice Makes Perfect
So embrace your power and go out there and make some decisions! You’ll be amazed at how much lighter you feel.