How To Make More Effective Decisions Faster?

Surely everyone has faced at least one dilemma in their life: should I go to college or take a year off to travel? Should I get a job in this company or the other? Should I save up for the perfect trip or for a new place of my own? Should I wear the black or the red dress to this meeting? Decisions, decisions.

Like everyone else, I’ve also had tough decisions to make throughout my life. Decisions ranging from “Should I leave my country and go study abroad” to “Should I buy this dress that looks so much like another one I have”. I know, problems! So this is why I’ve come up with tips and tricks to make decisions faster without making a compromise with the quality of the decision being made. I’ll share them with you.


Tips to make more effective decisions faster

Write a pros and cons list

This is the most commonly used method to decide which way is better. Think hard about everything that you can benefit from when choosing to go down a certain a path. Also think about all the stuff that can hurt you when choosing to go down the opposite path. When you draw the line, you need to be certain that your decision is the best you can make given the current circumstances.

Here are some tips on how to make better pro-con lists.

Pros and cons list

Flip a coin. When it’s in the air, you’ll know what side you’re hoping for.

There are real deadlocks, but I don’t think they occur very often. Most of the time, doing a pros and cons analysis is enough to decide what to do.

But sometimes our judgement is clouded by lack of objectivity or by our inability to see things from a different point of view (it’s hard to think straight when everything seems to be falling apart around you even if you’re the most rationally-thinking person on the planet). At these times I give it one or two days, sleep on the problem and if I cannot come up with a decision, I assume the alternatives are equivalent to me and just flip a coin.

Of course, this will do if you can postpone the decision, giving yourself time to decide on a course-of-action. But is there some way to speed up the process? A while ago I came across this rather smart quote by Rothstein character in Boardwalk Empire TV series:

Flip a coin. When it’s in the air, you’ll know what side you’re hoping for.

It’s an interesting way to give yourself an ultimatum: decide or let luck make the decision for you.

And also, there is a Donald Duck comic called “Flip Decision” circa 1953 that introduces Flipism philosophy, which supports a rather radical anecdotal variant: make all decisions by flipping a coin.

Choose the lesser evil

Sometimes when evaluating your options, you’d feel like in the end it doesn’t really matter what you choose, because harm will be done either way. In such situation, the best you can do is just choose the lesser evil and suck it up. Actions lead to consequences and you should accept that.

Give yourself a deadline

The idea behind this tip is to force action through a self-imposed deadline. It’s simple enough to incorporate: any time you have to make a decision, just set the timer and begin the process. The time limit forces you to quickly assess the pros and cons while quickly coming to a decision. The simplicity behind this tip makes it very accessible. When you’re under the pressure of a deadline “waiting” for you to make a decision, you’d be more organized. You’ll just have to give yourself an ultimatum to make up your mind until a certain period of time. Once you make a decision, just accept it and stop questioning your reasons.

Trust your gut

Rather than using logic, sometimes you have to trust your intuition. I’m all for science and scientific explanations and theories, but the truth is, there are still a lot of mysteries about how some things happen. And science cannot explain them. Intuition too is a kind of a mystery. We’re not really sure how it works, but we’ve all heard its tiny voice in our ears or felt it in our stomachs. When all logic and rational thinking isn’t helping, just trust your intuition.

Clear your mind by meditation or deep relaxation. Try to just think about your options as an unemotional bystander. Ask your subconsciousness for an answer. I know it sounds weird, but a lot of people believe that on subconscious level, we know things that usually don’t come to us. There are also beliefs that the subconsciousness has very high energy levels and our thoughts can help form the reality we live in. You can decide for yourself if you want to believe in this or not, but first check out John Kehoe’s Mind Power Into the 21st Century.

To finish off, remember to choose your battles and don’t sweat it. They say life is simple, but we complicate it. Maybe they’re right. What do you think?


Photo taken from

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.