Decisions and MORE Decisions!

April 24th, 2017 by Patricia Jehle Leave a reply »

Is Decision Making Hard for you?

Problems? Hard to decide on the solution?

One of the hardest things for some people is making decisions. Decision making can be very wearing on a us and can even bring you down when you feel overloaded with decisions at work and at home. But making decisions can help you out, e en if it is hard.

Decision-making can make you happy. It really can!


Most people think they make 70 a day, but many experts say that 35,000 conscious decisions are made by most adults daily.

If you are a CEO or business leader and you work only five days a week, you make almost 30 important decisions each day. Over 50% of those decisions are made in nine minutes, or even less. Only twelve percent are made in an hour or more. Of those 30 important decisions, there are multiple layers or micro-decisions found in each one.

Does that make you feel tired? It does me!

We all want to make good decisions so what can we do to make better ones?

Here are some tips:

Tips for decision making

Set time aside for decision making

One of the biggest stresses in our lives is to not decide on something, to put it off. So, set aside dedicated time to decide, think and then just decide. Make that time, and you will be relieved, and satisfied. Manage your choices.

Cut! in complexity and number

  • Less IS more! There can be too much of a good thing. If you have too many choices, you may choose not to engage at all; your decision quality decreases when given too many choices; and/or you are much less likely to be satisfied with your decision if you do finally choose. So, choose from only a few options. Also, for business owners and leaders, when thinking of potential customers USP is key in product development. Give them a few unique options, not 20 of “same same same”.
  • Complexity also matters. When it comes to complexity, start simple and get more complex and do not get very complex until the end. This allows you to make better choices and not give up before “the end”.

Make the results concrete

  • Ask yourself what will happen if… The consequences of the choice should be felt in a very vivid sort of way. This is also true from the selling end. Make it clear what will happen if they do choose your product.

Categorize them (it’s easier for us to understand categories)

  • We are much more likely to take the time to choose if we have categorized the choices logically.

Watch your body clock

  • Major decisions should be made early on in the day. Even if you are a night person, it is better to choose early on, and remember when working with people, most discussions should be held early on in the day.

Take a walk, or at least a coffee break

  • We all know it, but may not follow this advice. Better choices are made with a clear and rested head. So take breaks.

Set your emotions aside

Put that emotional side of yourself, including your ego, on the back burner when you decide so that your frontal lobe is working at its best. Use the rational decision-making model, or the ethical decision making model.

Or not: Use your Gut instinct, with balance and reason

Gut instinct is helpful when balanced with concrete information, credibility and remembering to take possible bias into consideration. Remember we see through our own biases and experiences and our emotions can be good, but they can also get us into BIG trouble, so be careful and balance everything.

Get help, just do it!

It should not go unsaid, and if you have nobody, find someone. When you don’t have that expertise needed to make the decision, find someone who does and ask them. Also, a neutral party will keep your decision objective. I know of options, probably you do too. If not, ask me.

Check your information and data

Remember that one person’s opinion is just that. It is not statistically sound to base a decision on a few people’s opinions. Make sure you have the right data, and it is really data. It is true that there are at least two viewpoints of every situation.

What if?

Make sure you know what happens if: What happens if I do do this and what if I don’t do it? Also, what won’t happen if I do do this and what won’t happen if I don’t do this? What are all the underlying risks? Make sure you know what the worst case scenarios would be.

Two Models

Here are Two Models that I like for decision making: Rational and Ethical:


  • Identify the problem to be solved
  • Establish criteria for success
  • Weigh the decision criteria (what’s most/east important)
  • Generate alternatives (as many as possible)
  • Evaluate your alternatives (see above for what happens if you do/don’t, etc.)
  • Choose your best alternative
  • Implement the decision
  • Evaluate the decision
  • Make any needed changes


  • Stop and think: identify the situation and the problem
  • Construct a description
  • For whom is this a problem
  • View this in terms of an ethical framework
  • Consider moral and legal principles
  • Identify and support that may be available (who can help?)
  • Identify courses of action
  • Select course of action
  • Evaluate the outcome (use a neutral supervisor/supervision)
  • Regularly check the impact of the decision on people and events

Finally, remember to think in complex terms

  • The Pareto principle applies, always
  • There will be unexpected consequences, so watch for them
  • Remember that your organization’s system may really mess up your decision
  • Always try for a win-win situation

For more on this, either ask, or do some research on systems theory.

Just make that decision! NOW! Get rid of that added stress.

So, when you are finding yourself stressed, first think: do I have several decisions in front of me? If yes, set aside time, set aside emotions, get help if you need to, make sure your information is complete and correct, and walk through your worst-case scenarios. Finally, just make those decisions. Remember the adage: no decision is also a decision.

Make that (those) decision(s)! You will feel better about yourself, relieved from the pressure of those decisions weighing on your shoulders, and ready for a good hike up in the mountains, high above all the questions.


Tell me how your decision-making is going!

Have a great positive decision-making week!

Patricia Jehle





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