If we’re honest, we can all be a little bit indecisive at times.
Usually, it’s over something pretty inane. Tonight’s dinner, perhaps, or the choice of paint for your new car. But what if the inability to make a solid decision plagues you time and again at work?
I’ve been there. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve reached the point of decision fatigue many a time in my career. There have been so many instances where I’ve been tasked with making a clear decision on something (either by a superior or on my own free will) only to fall at each hurdle.
That idea’s too expensive; that one has been done before; that one is impossible without the right team… the list of tricky decisions goes on.
However, recently, I discovered the ability to become a far better decision maker, and it doesn’t relate to any specific technique. Instead, I realised that my inability to make decisions was negatively impacting my productivity for a very simple reason; I was spending too much time making decisions.
It seems obvious, but like everything in life, it’s usually the simple realisations and solutions that carry the most weight.
Now, I make decisions more quickly, more accurately and with the confidence that they’re the right decisions. And today, I wanted to share why becoming a better decision maker will improve your productivity, too.
Better decision making helps you set clear goals
I’m a big fan of goal-setting. In order to be as productive as possible, you need to know what you’re working towards. More importantly, you need to believe in what you’re working towards.
By becoming a better decision maker, you’ll set goals that are clear, achievable and of which you obtain full ownership. After all, it’s far easier to make a decision if you know that it should relate to the reason you started your business in the first place.
Better decision making helps you understand the why
Why do you get up in the morning and go to work? Before you hit your to-do list, do you know the answer to that question?
Few people do. In fact, few people ask that question regularly enough. I’ve started to do so regularly, and I’ve discovered that it has helped immeasurably with my decision making.
Thinking back to my last point above, a goal is only likely to be achieved if you understand why it exists. The ‘why’ is what drives us in the right direction and ensures we meet our goals in good time by producing only the best quality work.
Better decision making forces you to ask the right questions
To make the best decisions, you need to ask yourself plenty of questions. Some won’t be easy to answer, but the key to asking the right questions lies in the decision making process.
When I find myself having to make a significant work-related decision these days, I ask myself the following questions:
- What’s important, right now?
- What’s the best thing that could happen?
- What’s the worst that could happen?
- What facts are there to back up my decision?
- What’s the opportunity cost if I delay the making of this decision?
You can of course ask yourself plenty of questions besides the above, but they’re a great starting point and can relate to any decision that needs to be made, no matter your job role.
Better decision making helps align your work with your goals
Let’s think back to the importance of goal-setting. In order to meet those goals, the individual elements of work you’ll need to undertake all need to relate to that goal.
If one piece of work doesn’t have any connection with the end goal, you’ll be wasting your time. Thus, by becoming a better decision maker and always keeping those goals in mind, you’ll only set yourself tasks which will help you make confident strides towards the finish line. And that means less wasted time and far greater productivity.
Better decision making helps you identify – and avoid – risk
Making a decision will either send you down the path of success or failure. If you can identify the risks inherent with the latter route early on, you’ll stand a far better chance of making the right decisions.
Making the wrong decisions can be costly in both time and money, which is why becoming a better decision maker is vitally important. The better you are, the more likely you are to identify risks and suss out how to avoid them early on before they become costly problems.
You’ll doubtless be familiar with the feeling you get when you make the right decision. It’s addictive, right?
There’s no silver bullet for becoming a better decision maker; we all have different methods for becoming that person. But whatever your method, I’ve hopefully revealed just how big an impact it will have on your productivity. Trust me – it’s transformative.