HOW TO DECIDE the Big Issues
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We have to decide a lot every day from deciding what clothes to wear to what to eat. These decisions are quite simple (except choosing what to wear…). Recently, I experienced some difficulties among my multiple projects. The never-ending story is that I want to do so many things and after some time I feel massively overwhelmed and although I’m used to this situation it happens repeatedly. Usually, my reaction towards this particular feeling is that I cannot move which means I get paralyzed and stop doing anything. You can imagine that this is not quite helpful for getting rid of stress… That’s why I created a process how to decide like a pro which I want to share with you.
To solve the problem, a reduction of projects and tasks is the best possibility. I usually have to decide what to keep and what I should let go. In the most recent case, I had to decide whether to quit studying economics or to reduce the classes. This decision was an important because I want to finish my master thesis on Hegel in philosophy as well. Another opportunity is to live on the edge, falling behind and feeling badly most of the time. This is not as easy for me as it may seem! It’s so hard to realize that I cannot do anything but to admit that my time is limited. But I love all the things that I do and not doing them is a bit scary.
The Decision Process
Don’t get me wrong – I love living on the edge in a way – but if it gets too much for me, I realize soon that I should take care of myself and reduce the work amount. And taking care of myself is also very important.
After realizing that I have to change something in my life, the decision making process comes in. What project should I quit? What is important and worth the time? Will I regret quitting? Can I take at least one additional subject? A bunch of emotions is connected with answering those questions every single time this process starts again. You can believe me – it does often…
This is why I follow a few steps to find out what I really want. The following five steps help me to decide about what to leave and what to get rid of. So, let’s dive in how to decide like a pro!
how to decide like a pro in 5 Steps
To start the process, I like to setup a perfect environment. I grab a cup of coffee (I love coffee!), get my journals prepared and make myself comfortable. Don’t force yourself through the decision making process and you’ll get the results you want!
1. Declutter Your Mind
To decide about multiple projects or too many tasks a open and free mind is helpful. I recommend journalling to get clear about what matters to you. Journalling declutters my mind and also helps me preventing bad feelings. Especially, decluttering my mind helps me getting in a mood where I can start thinking and stop getting stuck due to the overwhelm. Personally, I prefer morning pages to declutter my mind.
2. Set up Priorities
Lists are great tools for decisions. The good old pros-and-cons-list is great to set up your preferations and this helps to come to a decision. I love to have lists for nearly anything. In my current situation, I made a list of pros and cons of studying economics. In this step you can see which one overweighs.
3. Rank Your Priorities
Step three helps you to bring your priorities in a hierarchical order. At the third step of the process, you should prioritize your possibilities or ideas and so you can easily find out what is most important for you. After the ranking, think about the value you ascribe to each item. The highest priority with the highest value should stay. Rankings help you to get clear about what really matters to you. I mean REALLY. I think you should use your time for the real important things – those that are important for you and not for others.
4. How to Decide
Now you can see what you want and how much you want it. For example, in my particular decision a very important item was my master thesis on Hegel. This was the case because some economy classes ranked lower in my list and so the thesis remained on my list.
Keep the items that are important for you and then skip the ones that are not so important. After skipping, you can store the skipped ones in a waiting-list for later which encourages you to decide between two important things. This happens mainly because you know that you can come back to your ideas at any time.
5. Stick to Your Decision
It is critical for your forthcoming that you stick to your decision. It’s important for you to train your mindset and create the habit of sticking to your decisions. It makes you trustworthy for yourself and others, and you get more confident if you do what you said you’ll do. I think sticking to your decision empowers you and your unconscious mind gets the impulse that you are trustworthy. Overall, decisions can help increasing your self-confidence as a positive side effect.
I’d be interested in your thoughts! Which decisions are you struggling with? How do you come to a decision? Leave a comment below.
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If you are interested in self-care, you may also like this post.