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How to make better decisions

5 methods to help you make better decisions

What do you think? How many decisions do we make in a day?

The answer is around 20,000!

What time should we get up? Do we drink coffee or water now? What do we cook for dinner in the evening? What do I do first at work today?

In both your personal and professional life, you have to make decisions for everything every day.  Especially in the professional world, making the right decisions for your employees is crucial to the success of the company. That’s why it’s even more important that you have the skills to make good decisions. Today we want to share with you 5 simple methods that will help you improve the quality of your decisions.

Be curious!

1. CAF Method/PMI Method

CAF (Consider All Facts) and PMI (Plus-Minus-Interesting) methods are mainly for those who want to make decisions systematically. The advantage of these methods is that you consider all relevant decision criteria. Both the positive and the negative consequences of the respective decision are taken into account. Thereby you get a rational basis to make your decision. However, you should take your time when carrying out these methods.

This is how you proceed with the CAF method:

  1. Define the question on which you want to make a decision.
  2. Make a list of all the factors that need to be considered to decide anyway. This way you make sure that you don’t leave out any factor.
  3. Start prioritizing the factors.

Ask yourself:

Which factors are most relevant to making the decision and which are less important?
  • Make your decision based on the listed factors and go through the alternative actions considering your list.

2. PMI – Plus Minus Interesting

The PMI method is similar to the CAF method, with the difference that here the advantages and disadvantages of the possible decision are listed and weighted. This way you keep track of the consequences and have a better basis for the decision-making process.

This is how you proceed:

  1. As in the CAF method, first, define the question on which the decision is to be made.
  2. First, note down all the advantages and disadvantages of the decision. Do this separately. Do not jump back and forth between advantages and disadvantages, but first, deal with the plus and then with the minuses.
  3. All factors that play a role for you in the decision, but cannot yet be precisely assigned, are listed under the point “Interesting”. Once these points have been clarified, they can be assigned to the plus or minus column.
  4. Weigh both the positive consequences and the negative consequences and then make the decision.

Both the CAF and PMI methods give you important support to identify and consider the most important points that play an important role in decision making. By considering these factors, we at timeghost are convinced that the quality of your decisions will increase significantly.

3. Decision matrix

The decision matrix is also a method that gives you a rational view in the form of an overview so that you can decide between several alternatives. The points relevant to the decision are evaluated based on predefined criteria. The alternative with the most points ultimately wins.

This is how you proceed:

  1. When carrying out this methodology, first define all the alternatives available to you when making the decision.
  2. Then, define the criteria based on which the evaluation will take place. IMPORTANT: the criteria must be formulated positively, i.e. the more the better in the evaluation.
  3. Assign points for each criterion (scale 1 – 6, where 1 is unimportant and 6 is very important) and sum up the points.
  4. The alternative with the most points wins.

4. 10-10-10 Model

The 10-10-10 model is one of the simplest but most effective models for improved decision-making. Ask yourself the following question when making your decision:

How will I feel about this in ten minutes, ten months, and ten years?

The core benefit of this method is that you can evaluate the decision you are about to make from three different angles.

Because in the case of the first 10 minutes, it’s the emotions that will drive your decision, making you think less rationally and focused on the short-term success of your decision.

If you lay out the impact of your decision on a ten-month horizon, your emotions will be different. Your short-term emotions of the first ten minutes are no longer present because you are now considering the medium to long-term consequences of your decision and thus have different evaluation criteria.

With the third question, you go one step further and consider a time horizon of ten years and address the long-term effects of your decision.  With so many years, you can estimate quite well how relevant your decision will be.

Because either making your decision will be completely irrelevant to you, or it will be life-changing and you will be at a very different point ten years from now than when you made the decision. 

The 10-10-10 rule can be used for pretty much any decision you encounter. Whether it’s a small or big decision, personal or professional, the 10-10-10 method will help you look at the impact and consequences of your decisions and evaluate what relevance it plays right now.

5. Mind-mapping

The mind-mapping method can be used not only to find ideas and possible solutions but also to make better decisions.

It helps to visualize and structure the potentially occurring scenarios of a decision. In doing so, the dependencies and connections become clear, and the consequences of the decision become clear. 

In mind-mapping you proceed as follows:

  1. As with the other methods mentioned above, you should first formulate the question on which the decision should be based.
  2. From the question arise different factors, which are relevant to your process of decision making. Write these down as loose bullet points.
  3. Then highlight the factors you have defined. Derive branches from them, and connect dots. The idea is to create a network of dependencies and connections that will give you a better overview when making decisions.

The great advantage of the mind map is that you can see almost every important aspect of your decision at a glance. This reduces the complexity of your decision and still gives you a more rational view of things.

Maybe one of these methods will help you in your professional or personal life to make better decisions.

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