5 ways to make decisions quickly is a process that will take you to a whole new level of success. There’s a theory that leaders make decisions quickly and change their minds slowly. Most everyone else makes decisions slowly and they change their minds quickly. The first thing to realize is that most decisions are not life and death. And, yet, most people spend a lot of time making decisions that should have taken minutes to make. If you find yourself agonizing about decisions, here are some steps you can take to help you become a leader when it comes to decisions.
Using these 5 ways to make decisions quickly has a great emotional value. One of the negative effects of making decisions slowly is the emotional price that is paid. Not making decisions can often result in worry and anxiety. Worry takes the shape of thoughts in our minds that go in circles. As long as we allow that to happen, making decisions becomes very difficult. Thus, we can worry and put off making decisions. That can often lead us to loss. We can lose our health, important relationships, career opportunities, and more. Make decisions quickly by learning to control worry.
Dale Carnegie wrote a very productive book that has helped many people to overcome worry, and thus make better decisions, more quickly. It’s called “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.” Carnegie’s theory was that we should live in “Day-Tight Compartments”. He said to think about each day being a room with two doors. One door represents yesterday and that door is locked permanently. The other door leads to tomorrow. That one doesn’t open until midnight. Until that point, we’re living in this “Day-Tight Compartment”. In other words, there was nothing that could be done about yesterday and we could do nothing about tomorrow, until midnight.
Then, concerning something we’re worried about, Carnegie suggests writing down a clear description of what is worrying us. Then write down what is the worst that could happen. The next step was to write down a clear plan of what you would do if the worst were to happen. This idea is a great way to clarify a situation, which can help us make decisions more quickly.
5 ways to make decisions quickly continues by paying attention to Benjamin Franklin. He developed a wonderful process to help people make decisions.
He suggested getting a piece of paper and drawing a line across, about an inch from the top of the paper. Then he said to draw a line down the middle of the page. In the middle, at the top, write down the decision to be made. At the top left, write the word “PROS” and the word “CONS” at the top right. You’re about to let Ben help you make a decision more easily.
Write down all of the reasons you should consider in making this decision, both for and against. Since our emotions vary from day to day, it is best if you spend a few minutes every day for five days to do this. Be as clear as possible in your written reasons, on both sides of the page. Pretend as if, after five days, you were to give this paper to a stranger and they would make the decision for you. Thus, you would have to be very honest about the pros and cons.
This is another way to get thoughts out of our minds and onto paper. Decisions become easier when we see them defined clearly in writing and we look for reasons to go ahead and reasons not to proceed.
5 ways to make decisions quickly includes being well organized. If our days are not well organized, and we get pulled in various directions at any given moment, I believe that keeps us from making decisions quickly. When there are a lot of things on our mind, how can we focus on one important point and make a sensible decision? Clutter, on our desk and in our minds, can keep us from making decisions quickly.
Napoleon Hill, in the book “Think and Grow Rich”, tells the story about Andrew Carnegie and his building of the United States Steel Corporation many years ago. In 1901 he hired Charles Schwab to become President of the company. Schwab asked a business consultant named Ivy Lee to give him an idea that would make him and his management more organized and more productive.
Lee suggested that, at the end of each day, Schwab should write down the 5 most important and valuable things he needed to do the following day, in the order of their importance. Then, the next morning, he was to focus on item #1 until it was completed. If he was distracted, he was to come back to item #1 as soon as possible. When that was completed, he was to go to item #2. If all he completed in any given day were items 1 through 3, at least those were the most important things.
At the end of the day, he was to make a new list for the following day. If he’d completed the first three items, item #4 might become #1 the next day. He might have considered that something else was more important the next day. Either way, there was great focus at the beginning of each day.
I believe this process would help us stay focused on the most valuable things each day and limit our confusion. Being focused can only help in making better decisions because we have uncluttered our minds.
Whatever decisions we make, in most cases someone else has made a similar decision. I find that most people allow ego to get in the way and they don’t ask for help. When you need to make an important decision, look for someone who might be an expert in that field and ask them for advice. We honor people when we ask their help and seek their advice. Let someone else feel good by helping you with the decision.
Check in your community to see who is an expert in the area for which you need advice with your decision. Perhaps identify more than one person. What if you were to send a note to three influential people and ask them all for advice with your decision? Give them the facts that deal with the situation and your options to take action. This can clarify your situation and you’ll be getting the benefit of experience from an expert. This would be advice that is coming from a non-partial third party who’ll be able to be more objective about your situation.
I was born in Israel. My family immigrated to the U.S. when I was 9. I eventually asked an uncle of mine, who had also immigrated to America and was originally from Vienna, Austria, why more people in the U.S. are not successful. His simple answer was glaring. He said, “They won’t ask for help.”
5 ways to make decisions quickly is effective when you survey people. If you run a business that has customers, and the decision could affect your customers, ask them for their opinion. That could help you make decisions quickly.
Put together a simple survey and ask your customers for input. Perhaps you can offer a discount on a product or some other incentive to motivate them to complete your survey. Their input could be very valuable.
As noted above, when asking experts for their advice with your decision, you’ll make your customers feel important when you ask for their input. They may also become better customers if they feel that they had something to do with a product improvement or a change in your services.
Your employees can also be a great asset when it comes to decisions. Too many CEO’s feel that they have to make all of the decisions. Employees actually grow when we allow them to give us input when it comes to decisions. And, if they help you with ideas during difficult times, they will most likely buy into any changes that need to be made if they were asked for input.
If you send out any kind of company publication, and you’ve instigated a customer or an employees’ input in a decision, give that person recognition in your company publication. Everyone loves to see their name in lights.
Remember, leaders make decisions quickly and change their minds slowly. By implementing some of the above ideas, I believe you’ll be able to make decisions more quickly and enhance your leadership abilities.
“I make decisions quickly because I’m highly organized, write down my options, and take action!”
Related Article: Become a Great Leader in 5 Steps
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Copyright 2017 by Boaz Rauchwerger