Every single day we are faced with a number of choices. From simple choices like what to have for breakfast and what to wear to work to bigger and more complicated choices that affect our lifestyles and our loved ones. Since making a choice or having to make a choice is always going to be a part of our lives, it is in our best interest to master it. Let me share with you five tips to making any choice in life and work like a boss.
1. Think of the outcome
Contrary to a popular belief, I’ve learned that one of the initial steps to making the right choice is to think of the outcome that we would like after making the choice instead of writing and comparing pros and cons on a piece of paper. Why? Because each pros and cons is subjective. For example, we might be faced with the option of whether to choose cereal or hash brown for breakfast. Both are equally bad for health and equally tasty. In this case, writing a pros and cons list is not going to help us make the right decision. However, if we think about the outcome we want after eating our breakfast, which, for example, is to feel fuller for a longer period of time, then the right choice is hash brown. Similarly, in our work life, we might be faced with having to make a choice between two job offers; the one that pays more vs. the other with a better career path. Based on what outcome we would like to achieve and what we consider important to us, we can make the decision that is right for us.
2. Apply past learnings and experiences
We are always encouraged to learn from our experiences in the past. There is no better time to apply our learnings than when making a choice. So for example, if we had made a similar decision before, then we should think back and reflect on the choice that we made. Was it a good choice? Could we have done better? Whatever we have learnt then, we can apply now.
3. Have default options
I am a strong believer in the phrase the less we have to do (for things that don’t matter), the more we can do (for things that matter). That’s why having default options that I always choose for certain circumstances work wonders for me. For example, my default option for coffee is skim flat white, my default choice for hairstyle is bob and so on. Our brains are great at making the same choice effortlessly after enough practice, which is why women always go to ladies toilet and men go to mens without having to think twice or think at all.
4. Know the difference between urgent and important
An urgent decision is something we need to make immediately, for example, when we get into a lift, we need to press which level we would like to go right away. An important decision is something that we need to consider thoroughly, usually after analysing, gathering and processing facts. With this type decision, we may need to sleep on it to ensure we are not rushing into something. For example, if we are thinking of buying a property then we will need to perform adequate due-diligence before choosing which property to purchase. Then there are both urgent and important choices which call for immediate and impactful decisions. And then we have non urgent and non important decisions, which are simply not worth fussing over. Knowing what type of choice or decision that we are making will help us make the best decision for each circumstance.
5. Think outside the box
Just because we are given choices, it doesn’t mean we must choose one of them. Maybe we can choose both; have your cake and eat it too. Or maybe we do not want to choose any, but come up with our own option. Or maybe we decide that we don’t need to do anything at all. One thing to bear in mind though is that we don’t want to be a rebel without a cause but we want to be curious and innovative leaders who inspire ourselves and others with choices that we make.
So there you have it, five practical and helpful tips on how to make any choice in life and work. The next time you are making a decision, I hope you think of the steps above and make the right choice with ease and confidence. Do share with us if you have got any tips that have worked for you in making right decisions.
About the author
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Ei Sabai Nyo is a highly innovative and award-winning web technologist and people manager with over 15 years industrial experience in the Internet and web development industry. She is also a co-founder of an Internet start up, Sale The World. She is passionate about start ups, entrepreneurship and personal and career development.