The strategies we present below will help you know what to do to make better decisions. You just have to put them into practice and notice the results.
Last update: April 19, 2022
No matter how good we think we are at making decisions, we all choose the least wise option. How, then, to learn to make better decisions? The judgments we make every day are often influenced by past decision errors, prejudices, emotions and mental shortcuts that make us more prone to mistakes.
Following that, when it comes time to make an important decision, you want to make the right choice. It is important to be prepared and have useful strategies. The strategies we present below will help you know what to do to make better decisions. You just have to put them into practice and notice the results.
Useful strategies for making better decisions
Give yourself all the time you need
Popular wisdom recalls the importance of meditating on decisions: "the night brings advice". Beyond the idiom, sleeping before making a decision helps to distance yourself and not be guided by the stress accumulated during the day.
Many times it is not meditation or reflection that helps us to decide better, but to be rested, as it allows us to have a free and fresh mind.
But you don't always have a lot of time to make a decision in these cases taking a short break can already offer better results. Recent research indicates that even a slight delay, just a fraction of a second, before making a decision can lead to better action.
The next time you have to make a choice, wait a moment and focus on the options available to you before deciding. Don't get carried away by the impulse.
Make a list of pros and cons
Making a list of pros and cons is a technique for making better decisions, as long as they are simple. It helps to visualize what can happen in different situations. We can compile this list on paper, on mobile, via concept map or in mind.
Thinking about it, as well as allowing time, makes you aware of how important it is to reflect. But we don't always have time for that. Before quick decisions it is not possible. However, it is important to train the mind for this activity, so as to get used to it and be more agile to think.
Learn to control stress to make better decisions
Science has found that stress can affect how we decide and this influence is often negative.
A study published in Current Directions in Psychological Science finds that people are more prone to notice positive information when stressed, but lose interest in negative information.
The study authors suggest that when making a decision under stress, we tend to focus on the benefits, minimizing the potential drawbacks.
To make better decisions, therefore, you need to make sure you learn how to manage stress in order to keep it under control.
Work on emotional intelligence
A study by researchers at the University of Toronto indicates that the people with emotional intelligence make better decisions. Scientists say that lower levels of emotional understanding lead to letting anxiety about other problems influence present-moment decisions.
Allo stesso modo, people who are aware that their anxiety is unrelated to the problem in question are able to make better decisions. This indicates that they would be able to postpone decisions until full recovery of concentration on the issue in question in order to achieve better results.
Look at the problem from another point of view
When it comes to a very personal and stressful problem, a decisive decision, emotions often cloud judgment. A study published in the journal Psychological Science indicates that considering the problem from a foreign point of view can help make better decisions.
The researchers found that even when the problems are intimate and personal, thinking of you as if we were strangers to them and distancing yourself helps to make more informed decisions.