(2 minute read)

Every day we are confronted with situations which require us to make choices.

Some of these choices are easy, such as what you’ll eat for lunch, what to wear or what you’ll watch on television. Others may be more difficult, such as career choices, investment options or what suburb or city to live in.

Difficult decisions often have greater consequences if we make the wrong decision, adding gravity to the decision-making process.

When tasked with making a decision, there’s a 5-step process which can be applied to help make a more informed and educated decision.

  1. Identify the goal, objective, or desired outcome
  2. Gather as much useful information as is available
  3. Identify the options available (including the pros and cons of each)
  4. Make your decision
  5. Evaluate your decision

There are two distinct modes of thinking that take place during the decision-making process: diffuse and focused. Although they both play a different role in the process of deciding, they are equally as important

In the decision-making process, diffuse thinking encourages you to have an open mind and not place too many parameters on your thinking. This plays a key role in steps 2 and 3, where you will gather as much relevant information and brainstorm all the possible alternatives. Once the information has been gathered, it’s time to call upon the focused thinking component, where you begin weighing up the alternatives and putting in selection criteria to allow you to narrow your selection – arriving at the eventual decision, before implementing it.

As your professional and personal lives progress, you will be faced with more decisions, some with much greater consequences than previously experienced. By making lots of ‘mini decisions’ in the years leading up to these more critical decisions, you will exercise your decision-making process and should experience a notable upside from the more positive choices you are making.

Now, what’s for dinner?

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