Is it possible to speed-up your decisions? Is it, even, feasible? There is a safe-proof method that would help you to make better decisions? Most of the times, the problem does not always relate to the decision process!

How to Speed-Up Your Decisions

The problem usually relates to the searching space/vectors (the items we have to consider before you make a decision!) and to our inability to limit it only to the important ones (those items/data, that actually make a difference!). It is a problem of organization and it can easily be solved by intentionally and purposefully limiting our choices!

Standing In The Queue!

Yesterday, I needed some groceries and I went to the supermarket to pick them up! I was rather in a hurry(!) and I have already selected what I wanted to buy, making my grocery list and determined not to buy anything that was not listed on that list.

The list serves me well since I have completed my groceries in less than 10 minutes, something that was very good! But then, … I had to stand in the queues for checkout!

In front of me, there were standing a woman (medium aged) waiting also for her turn. She was not holding too much stuff, so I thought, I would be out of there pretty soon! But I was wrong, obviously!

When it was her turn to move on, and the cashier checks out all of her groceries, she picks up her wallet, and a long series of wrong decisions start playing the lead role in front of me, at the expense of my time! And of the people behind me in the queue!

Wrong Decisions Anywhere!

First of all, the woman had too many credit cards, and she was stalling all the queue, by not deciding which one to use! Second, after some time, really more than 5 minutes, when she decided about the card, she wanted to pay some items with cash and some items with the credit (something to do with her bonuses, I guess). And finally, when she finds out that her available cash and the credit card she has picked up was not enough for the cost of the items she wanted to buy, she had a very difficult time to decide which one of the items she should leave behind!

Mind you, that the cashier was all too helpful, and during all this time, he had only limited complaints by the people standing in the queue. Total time lost in the queue 23 minutes! (yes I time it!)

There should be procedures for this kind of situations, shouldn’t be? I mean we have established similar procedures in our systems when we have to deal with similar problems (procedures like the FIFO, LIFO, etc).

All of them with one single goal: to avoid the delays and the bottlenecks!  We use similar methods and approaches for car traffic and in a variety other systems, in which need a near-to-optimal flow and circulation. But all that it seems that are useless, in front of the human indecisiveness!

If the problem in the supermarket was the lack of money, cash, or anything else, I would have no problem with that (no the other people in the waiting line, I suppose). But the specific woman, in the supermarket, had money (cash and I do not know how many credit cards). What she has a problem with, is to decide what she should do next!

Speed-up Your Decisions. On Purpose!

All of us, have found ourselves in similar situations! Any of us, have some particular ways of dealing with such problems. But many of us, seem unable to make their minds and keep on doing what they have decided.

The same thing happens, frequent, either in personal or professional life. You know the best equipment to procure, the best notebook, the best running shoes, etc.

What fits us best, what would make us look better, how to find the best item at the cheaper price, etc. I’m certain that you know the drill!

One thing though, a hack actually, that might help to speed-up your decision process in the obvious one; limit your options!!!

You go to the supermarket take a list of groceries and only one valid credit card or cash and decide to stick to that decision. For instance, you look for running shoes, go shopping find the ones you like most and suit your purpose in the best possible way and limit your options in only 3 different pairs.

Select the one you like most and meet your standards. Leave! Go grab a cup of coffee or something else! Do not leave the store without selecting one and do not visit more than 2-3 stores in order to find the “best” product. It would only frustrate you and enhance your indecisiveness. Usually, at the end, you will end up empty!

All the best managers and leaders I know, use the same trick. They do not search every possible solution to a problem, they do not return back to solve something that is been processed, they do not look for making the perfect report, job, budget, they do not want to buy the best product.

They select based on their experience and knowledge the most suitable item or idea that either would help them resolve a situation or actually solve a problem or would provide a solid base for a future solution.

Either way, they ACT! They do not think about it too long. Check it out. See the people you admire, respect and follow, see what they do. And then train yourself to do the same!

Question: You move fast to action or you have to contemplate a long time before you decide your next move? How you speed-up your decisions?