7 Steps to Better Decisions

Posted on May 26, 2011

     Oprah magazine featured an article titled “7 Steps to BetterDecisions – A handy guide to weighing your options” which I found to be very insightful. 

1)    Identify your goal – Before you switch jobs, ask yourself: Do I really want a different career?  Or do I just want a different boss?  Don’t make a decision based on the wrong problem.
2)    Eliminate choices by setting standards –If you’re trying to buy a digital camera, list the features you’ll actually use.  Any camera that has them is therefore good enough for you.
3)    Don’t worry about finding the “best” – How good you feel about your decisions is usually more important than how good they are objectively
4)    Be aware of biases – We hate to lose more than we like to win, which can result in behavior such as holding on to a tanking stock instead of accepting a loss.  Keeping biases in mind can help you think clearly.
5)    Try not to rush – Poor choices are made under stress.  Use your conscious brain to gather the information you need, and then take a break.  The idea is to give your unconscious mind some time to do its work.
6)    Don’t sweat the small stuff – When possible, eliminate the need for decisions by establishing rules for yourself.
7)    Do a postgame analysis – After each decision you make, ask yourself how you felt afterward and what about the experience you can apply in the future.
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