The full impact of making the correct decision is only established once its has been made. For that reason highlighting the “importance” of getting it right the first time.

In this article, our life coach in Cape Town shares a few helpful decision making tips.

Making Decisions - Life Coach Cape Town

Here are a few tips to help make things a little easier for you, and few interesting facts.

1. Eliminate the choice – Ask yourself “Is it good enough?”

Chloe Brotheridge says in her book The Anxiety Solutions “cause good enough… is good enough! Having more options can mean you’re unable to make decisions because it’s just so damn confusing.”

When you are standing in a shop aisle with too many choices, eliminate the choice.

2. Remove any unnecessary decisions on a day-to-day basis.

Suffering from decision fatigue?

There’s a reason we get so worn out by decision-making: it literally uses up mental energy.

The process of choosing drains our willpower, which, according to the American Psychological Association, is a finite resource.

It also uses up glucose, because your brain runs on sugar, so don’t be surprised if you’re constantly reaching for the chocolate bars or sweets when you’re trying to choose, decide or make plans.

Basically, making decisions, is hard work and if your anxious mind is causing you to analyse every single tiny choice, you’re going to end up exhausted pretty quickly.

(Reportedly, Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg wear the same thing every day – a suit and a grey T-shirt, respectively – to take that one decision-making process out of their lives, freeing up mental energy for bigger, more important decisions.)

3. Do the worse-case scenario.

What is the worst that can happen?

4. Trust your gut!

Sometimes your first thought or gut reaction is the best one.
Here’s what Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, has to say about making decisions.

We live in a world that assumes that the quality of a decision is directly related to the time and effort that went into making it … We believe that we are always better off gathering as much information as possible and spending as much time as possible in deliberation. We really only trust conscious decision-making. But there are moments when our snap judgements and first impressions can offer a much better means of making sense of the world. The first task of Blink is to convince you of a simple fact: decisions made very quickly can be every bit as good as decisions made cautiously and deliberately. Learning to listen to and trust your gut or your intuition, or whatever you want to call it, may be the key to making decisions more easily.

5. Flip a coin.

If you just cannot decide and the consequence of the decision is small, flip a coin.

6. Evaluate the pros and cons

Consider the possible positive and negative aspects or consequences of your decision. Write down a list of pros and cons for each possible alternative.

Then prioritize these points with the most important considerations at the top of the list. What are the possible implications of the cons? Do they outweigh the pros? Can you live with the potential negative fallout or consequences? What could you do to mitigate the fallout?

7. Ask a friend

8.  Stop thinking about it

Stop thinking about it and do something else. Even if its recite a number for 2 minutes or sleep on it or go play tennis. Allow your brain to process unconsciously


Chloe Brotheridge from The Anxiety solutions Creswell, J. K. Bursley, A. B. Satpute, Neural Reactivation Links Unconscious Thought to Decision Making Performance,Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 2013, DOI: 10.1093/scan/nst004