Often we're pressured to make decisions before we're ready, or we take too long because we feel we're not. Setting a time for important decision-making can solve both problems by providing time to think and a time when you have to decide.
Creativity coach Mark McGuinness, writing for the "idea think tank" blog The 99 Percent, questions the right time to make a decision. For him, personally, he never makes an important decision after 4pm in the afternoon because he feels he's worn out and less likely to make the right choice:
For one thing, all of us are subject to circadian rhythms of arousal and rest during the daily cycle. If you want to be truly productive, you need to know whether you're a morning person or a night owl, and take advantage of the times when you are most alert to do your most important thinking. For me, that's the morning.
McGuinness offers the following advice for figuring out when it's your optimal time to decide:
- Don't stress about trivial decisions. Feel free to make those quickly. Only spend time on the decisions that are particularly important. What you have for lunch is not going to alter your life forever.
- Get to know yourself so you know your energy levels. When your energy is higher, this is generally the best time for you to make your decisions.
- Get "out of your mind" and into your body so you can make use of your intuition and not make your decision solely based on logic.
- For each option, weigh up the pros and cons.
- Ask yourself: How do I feel about this? If your head and your gut are at odds, it's probably best to slow down, take some more time, and get more information.
When do you find that you make the best decisions? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Don't Decide Until Decision Time [The 99 Percent]