35000 Decisions a Day!
Making wise decisions is an important part of managing both your professional and personal life. It is said that we as individuals make 35000 decisions every day. Ranging from small choices, like what you will wear or cook for dinner, to bigger decisions like changing your career path or making life partner choices, decision making process hardly ever stops. Having an un-made decision is a lot like having a guest who has overstayed their welcome. You can try to sit down to relax, but they are there in the corner of your eye, making their presence known just enough to distract you from your relaxation.
The good news is that there are some straightforward ways you can make the decision-making process easier. For instance, is well known that Barak Obama only wore blue suits to save his decision-making energy for more important work. Streamline more simpler decisions to conserve your decision-making energy for the harder hitting ones.
Make decisions is easier by thinking about your values when weighing the outcomes of a decision. Thinking about how well your values are reflected in your options can often make a difficult decision an obvious one, especially when it comes to career choices.
If you are having difficulty making a choice, think about the last time you made one. What process did you follow to come to your final decision? Did you discuss it with a mentor or a colleague, or did you research your options in finer detail? Did you go with your gut feeling or did you weigh the pros and cons? Reflect on successful decisions you have made in the past and what processes you followed to reach them. This can be insightful and helpful for making a difficult decision.
Many people say that you should ‘sleep on it’, and I believe this a good thing to do! By leaving any important decision-making until the next morning, you give yourself the chance to focus on the decision without the events of the day clouding your headspace.
Those 35000 decisions we make is an impressive number! It is no surprise that the more decisions we have to make, the easier it is to make poor decisions due to overwhelm and tiredness, otherwise known as ‘decision fatigue’. If somebody is pressuring you to decide and you feel as if you have decision fatigue, it is okay to stall them. Let them know that you will give the decision more thought and will get back to them within a practical timeframe.
It can sometimes be tempting to rush into decisions to relieve that uncomfortable feeling that hangs over you when there is one to be made. Taking the time to make the most suitable decision feels good because we have discarded the unfitting alternatives and moved on to the future that will unfold now that the decision has been made.
I think making decisions is not a process you can escape in adult life, so like anything else accepting this fact and practising to get better at it will only seem to be a reasonable solution. Take a step back, create a constructive decision-making environment for yourself, generate good alternatives and try and select the best solution you have. Most important thing is to always take action!