Here’s how to make good decisions:
- You don’t need more info, you need the right info: Clarify the problem and get relevant data, not all the data.
- Feelings are not the enemy: For simple choices, use raw brainpower. For complex choices, trust intuition.
- If you’re an expert in the area, trust your gut: Not sure if you’re an expert? Keep a decision diary.
- “Good enough is almost always good enough”: Trying to be perfect makes your brain miserable.
- Ask yourself: “What advice would I give to someone else in this situation?”. Often when we’re recommending something to another person, we don’t think about our current state and we don’t think about our current emotions. We actually think a bit more distantly from the decision and often make the better decision because of that.
1) You don’t need more info. You need the right info.
- Spend less time trying to amass all the information and more time better defining the problem so you can find the right information.
2) Feelings Are Your Friends
- Engaging in feelings lead to better decisions. Ie – Empathy
- When should you follow your gut and when should you not?
- For simple decisions without many factors involved (What soda should I buy?) be rational.
- For very complex or weighty decisions (Am I in love?) trust your gut.
- When you are tired and it’s hard to think? Go with your gut
- When you are really tired? Go to bed and sleep on it
3) Know Your Strengths
- You will make better decisions if you know yourself well and what you’re good at
- Keep a “decision diary”: Monitor what you do and what gets you results overtime
Whenever you make a key decision or take a key action, write down what you expect will happen. Nine or 12 months later, compare the actual results with your expectations… Practiced consistently, this simple method will show you within a fairly short period of time, maybe two or three years, where your strengths lie—and this is the most important thing to know.
4) Make A “Good Enough” Decision
- Trying for the best overwhelms you and makes you feel out of control. So go for “good enough” and don’t overthink the problem
Trying for the best, instead of good enough, brings too much emotional ventromedial prefrontal activity into the decision-making process. In contrast, recognizing that good enough is good enough activates more dorsolateral prefrontal areas, which helps you feel more in control…
- “Good enough is almost always good enough.”
- “A good decision now is better than a perfect decision in two days”:
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