Making good decisions is actually something you can get better at with age, relying on mental shortcuts your brain has developed over time. However, understanding certain strategies like maximizing and satisfying, fast vs. slow, and other factors like decision fatigue and risk tolerance can lead to better decision-making over time.
The Art of Decision-Making
Each time you make a decision you enter into a mental process that is perpetually influenced by emotions, memories, reason, and personal bias. When making a decision, you weigh the options, the benefits, and the costs. The primary factor that leads to poor decision-making is a lack of information on which to base your decision.
What Are Some Types of Decision-Making?
There are a few common types of decisions. When in a familiar situation, your choices are often fast, nearly automatic. These choices are based on a lifetime of experience being in that situation, what works and what doesn’t.
However, when you are in an unfamiliar situation, your decisions may take longer to fully form. This is because you have little or no prior experience to draw from. It may take more time to weigh the potential benefits and consequences of the new decision.
Informed decision-making is another way to come to certain conclusions. This relies heavily on your critical thinking skills and not so much on gut reactions. Informed decision-making requires that you obtain new knowledge in order to finalize your choice. Things like child-rearing and or changing your oil for the first time might necessitate finding the information to carry out the choice. Informed decision-making is based on fact rather than intuition.
How to Make Good Decisions
How you choose between two or more options that seem equally appealing can be a very difficult process. However, there are steps to ensure that you are making consistently good choices. The best way to do this is to gather as much information as you can about the topic in question.
In life, there is rarely one correct decision, but rather multiple solutions to the same problem. This is one reason you might experience decision fatigue. You may even go so far as to blame yourself for making the “wrong” decision. The key here is to find ways to simplify complex situations and make them easier to process. This can help prevent the paralysis that comes with decision overload.
Skills Necessary to Make Good Decisions
Consistently making good decisions can be stressful. Fear responses like panic and a lack of self-confidence are common barriers to making good decisions.
Try to keep your priorities straight and carefully weigh the known aspects of the issue in order to find a good solution.
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