It is something that is unavoidable and necessary. It is something we must face every day even if we don’t want to do so. It is a fact of life and needed to move us forward in life.
It is the process of making decisions.
Most things are simple to decide, but we also encounter many problems that vex us because there is no easy answer. Therefore, we need guidelines on how to make decisions so that we are not stuck in perpetual pondering.
Peter Bregman, author of many books on business, wrote an article in the Harvard Business Review on the topic of decision making. In his piece titled, 3 Timeless Rules for Making Tough Decisions, he listed some ways to make decisions more efficiently. He summed up the problem very clearly.
We spend an inordinate amount of time, and a tremendous amount of energy, making choices between equally attractive options in everyday situations. The problem is, that while they may be equally attractive, they are also differently attractive, with tradeoffs that require compromise.
To help cut through the challenges of decision making, one idea he shares has to do with turning your decisions into habits.
The first method is to use habits as a way to reduce routine decision fatigue. The idea is that if you build a habit —for example: always eat salad for lunch — then you avoid the decision entirely and you can save your decision-making energy for other things.
That works for predictable and routine decisions.
What about decisions that are not predictable and routine? Read the rest of his article to learn two more strategies to help with those type of decisions.