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Are You Indecisive? Here Are Some Frameworks To Help You

Updated: Nov 3, 2020

by Chloe Lee. |

According to various sources on the internet, adults make around 35,000 decisions on average daily. Every day, we decide what to wear, what to eat, which road to take to work; and so on. Of course, some decisions are harder to make than others.

Sometimes, we struggle to make decisions – and these habits of indecisiveness might cost us our time or even our money. Although the fear of making the wrong or bad decisions is a legit reason for us to think twice or thrice for certain matters, being hesitant can often be frustrating. If you are prone to indecisiveness, here are some frameworks you can adopt to help you maneuver daily:

View decisions in terms of time and how you would like to spend it.

This is especially helpful in planning your daily or weekly activities, and to understand what are some tasks you ought to prioritize. The time management matrix known as the Eisenhower matrix takes into consideration two elements: urgency and importance.

Source: Week Plan

  1. Fill Quadrant I with items that are important and urgent and you should get it done as soon as possible

  2. Fill Quadrant II with items that are important and not urgent – these are items you can reschedule

  3. Fill Quadrant III with items that are not important and urgent – if you can delegate it, then do so

  4. Fill Quadrant IV with items that are not important and not urgent – eliminate or delete if possible

If you carry out any managerial roles at work, this framework is also very useful in project management and distributing your resources evenly.

Even when it comes to deciding on whether or not to attend events, hangout sessions, or trainings, understanding how important and urgent these events are to you helps you make better decisions on how to spend your time. For example, you have to evaluate how certain friendships or relationships matter to you, or whether or not participating in training or working out is time well-spent. Using this framework in how you make decisions allows you to be mindful of not only your time but also your intentions on why you do what you do.

View decisions in terms of investments and what you want to spend your money and time on

When it comes to purchases, you have to ask yourself: will this product or service help me earn income or capital appreciation? What other forms of rewards can I benefit from? Not everything you buy can give you money in return, but thinking of other forms of compensation could help you make better decisions. For example, if you bought a book, you might gain knowledge in return; or if you buy a new tablet, you might be able to increase your productivity level. You make better decisions when you realize that some returns are not as appealing as you thought they would be; this is especially useful to help you refrain from buying things you don’t need.

When it comes to activities or relationships, choosing to participate in Quadrant II activities are a form of investment. How so? Quadrant II activities are not necessarily urgent but are important, and it is important to invest in these areas. For example, building rapport with your client or colleagues is important, but not necessarily urgent. To continue from the previous example, investing time into your relationship with your client will allow you to be seen as more trustworthy, and perhaps this good impression that you are leaving behind might open the door for more opportunities in the future.

Thinking of investments also challenges you to think long-term – What are your goals? How would you like to grow? Where do you see yourself in ten years? These are decisions you make that might not necessarily lead to immediate results but will reap you benefits after some time. However, it is crucial to understand that you will reap what you sow, so you should always make wise investments. When you choose to spend time reading or exercising, you are not immediately knowledgeable or fit, but you will eventually gain from these activities as you continue to invest yourself in them.

View decisions in terms of risks

Just like every investment you make, decisions always have risks, too. Every day you face the scenario of deciding what to eat for lunch, you can either visit an old-time favorite where you know for a fact that you would enjoy the quality of the food, or you can visit a new restaurant and risk it being a horrible discovery. Or, you can agree to a blind date and embrace the risk of meeting someone terrible. When it comes to making a decision, it helps to first identify the risks that lie before you. Being risk-averse means you prefer stability or security, this can be in terms of investments (saving plans or stocks) or it can also be in terms of relationships or purchases. Some people enjoy buying mystery boxes or gambling because they don’t mind taking risks, whereas others prefer knowing 100% of what they are getting themselves into.

However, do also be aware of the sunk-cost fallacy; which is the tendency to continue pursuing something just because of the resources you have already put into it – this can be applied to your money, your time, or even your romantic relationships. For example, staying in a relationship just because of the time you have already spent together even though you know that your partner is not the right fit for you. Or it can be as simple as deciding whether or not you should make a U-turn after being stuck in a jam for two hours; you tell yourself, “maybe there was an accident right in front, I should stay for another five minutes” – and then you’re in the jam for another two hours. Before you make a decision, weigh it out so that you can come to terms with your choices and not regret it after.

There is no one-stop solution to help you make better decisions faster, but it is a part of life, a whole lot of trial and error. No matter what decisions you have to make, financial ones, or relational ones, always be intentional and think through your choices. Understand what is important to you and how you would like to spend your time, know what you’re investing in and the risks involved. Lastly, make decisions you can be proud of.

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