What do you do when you have a decision to make?  How do you make decisions?  A big one at that. One that could have serious implications on the future. Are you just not too sure what to do and are scared of making the wrong choice. So what to do.

How do successful people make decisions?

Successful people make decisions and quite often make them fast. They may be in situations where a decision has to be made immediately and they are fully aware that the worst possible thing for them to do is procrastinate and not make a decision at all. After all, any decision is better than no decision.

Procrastination and indecision will cause more problems than making a ‘wrong’ decision and the problems we will then have to deal with afterwards. By doing nothing, the indecision will prey on our minds and blur our thinking. Consider a piece of paper. You don’t know where to put it so you put it on a pile on the kitchen counter. Another piece arrives and the same happens. Before you know it, the pile has grown and there is no room for anything else on the counter without it all spilling on to the floor. The same will happen with your mind. Cluttering your mind with indecision will remove the room for positive creative thought and it will become dimmed and your energy drained.

How to make decisions

Sleep on it

This is incredibly powerful. Before going to bed write down the problem or situation you need to make a decision about. Just before you go to sleep, ask yourself ‘What is the right decision for me’ or ‘what is the solution’ The power of the subconscious can be seriously underestimated and by doing this, it is amazing how you will awake in the morning with a clear solution.

Stop thinking about it

By consistently thinking and worrying about the problem, the mind becomes blurred and you become stressed. Try to clear the problem from your mind and think about something else. You may just be surprised when at the most unexpected moment the light bulb comes on and the solution is staring you in the face.

Test out the decision

So consider the implications of the different outcomes dependant on different decisions. Don’t concentrate on the immediate effects but look into the future, 6 or 12 months ahead. What will the situation look like then based on each possible decision. Looking at longer implications can help us with short term decision making.

Go connect with nature

Trying to make decisions in a high pressure environment can cause the wrong one to be taken. You will be surrounded by other things that will continue to demand your attention and pull you in different directions. Give yourself some time out and go connect with nature. It can have a very therapeutic effect and help you to think clearly once again. Go for a walk in the woods or sit by the river. Allow your mind to ‘breathe’ and have space. Often just a short period of time in the fresh air with no interruptions can help you to see clearly once again.

Start with the end in sight

What is the end result that you want to achieve? Too many times we start our decision making process by worrying about how we are going to do something, how we will afford it, how we will tell someone. Concentrate on the long term goal and work backwards. What do you want long term? Let that help you make the decision and you will then find ways to deal with all the other little things in the way once the big decision is out the way.

Write it down

Instead of keeping a jumble of ideas swirling around in your head, write them down. Get a sheet of paper, the larger the better, and some marker pens and just jot down whatever rambling thoughts spring to mind. They do need to be in any order. Just jot them all over the page. Pin the piece of paper up on the wall and leave it there for a few days (or whatever time restriction you have). As you walk past, add another thought however random. Let your mind run free. When ready sit down and reflect on all the different thoughts. You may surprise yourself with what ideas you come up with using this method.

Go with your gut feeling

Sometimes it can be as simple as tossing a coin if you have two options to choose from. Give a heads or tails to each option and see where the coin lands, then listen carefully to your gut reaction. How do you feel? Does it feel right? Many successful business people have made major decisions based on their gut reaction. Don’t’ be afraid to listen to yours.

So go put these tips into practice and make that decision once and for all. You will feel so much better once you have done it.