Style My Soul Explores …
“What are some foolproof ways to make better decisions in life and business, and is there a strategy or hack that helps you and how?
Take 24 Hours to Slow Down
Though life (and business) can move fast, it will rarely hurt you to take a night to “sleep on” the decisions you’re making. Stepping away from the rush of work or your normal life will remove some emotions you might have been feeling. A night to consider the decision will provide clarity. If you want to make better decisions, realize there’s rarely a need to rush yourself.
-- Logan Mallory, Vice President of Marketing, Motivosity
Make a Pros and Cons List
I enjoy making pros-and-cons lists for major decisions. Emotions and stress can often cloud judgment for making major work or life choices. While they’re basic, writing out a pros-and-cons list can help me cut through the noise. Seeing the impact of each option allows me to make more informed decisions that aren’t based solely on feelings. -- Rachel Roff, Founder & CEO, Urban Skin Rx
Analyze the Past
One of the best ways to decide is to notice any data points from your past. For instance, if you are trying to decide whether to accept a job offer, think about jobs that you’ve had before. What did you like or not like about those work experiences? What has made you feel the most fulfilled professionally, and why? Then, consider whether the company offering you the job seems like it could provide what’s best for you. Similarly, you can use this method to make business decisions. For example, going through your Google Analytics data from prior campaigns can give you many invaluable insights when coming up with new marketing strategies. By doing so, you can observe what has and has not been working. Many decisions have long-term consequences, so it’s essential to think things through. -- Marilyn Zubak, Marketing Lead, Snif
Interrupt the Thinking Autopilot
The part of our brain that makes choices is faster than the part that evaluates them. That is how we make stupid decisions that seem brilliant. By design, 95% of decision-making happens on autopilot. It’s an unfair game no human can win without effort. For important decisions, I force myself to suspend the judgment call until I check off mental triggers that tamper with the facts and can derail my thinking. It pays to know the biases that can let us down in life and business.
-- Natalia Vashkovets-Mawby, Principal, Finance for the Now
Ask Those Who Know You Best to Soundboard Your Ideas
Ask folks in your life who know you better than anyone else. For life questions more than business, I consult my closest friends and family when making a specific decision. That isn’t to say you should take their advice. Sometimes, loved ones will offer incredible advice, but it still might not represent the right thing to do right away. The point of sharing our indecision and vulnerability with our loved ones is not to expect answers from them, but to reflect with them. Only we will know what decision is best for us. When those who care about us the most help us recognize that drive in ourselves, it helps us get closer and more confident in what we choose.
-- Kevin Miller, Founder, Kevin Miller
Increase Values, Decrease Overthinking
To make better decisions in life and business, operate from your values and reduce overthinking. When forced with a decision, our brains attempt to take in as much information as possible. But this method can actually disorient us further, as we’re not parsing the quality of information as much as we’re getting quantity. Instead of overthinking, we can draw from our values. Think of values as a habit, rather than a brief blip of inspiration. Instead of flip-flopping in our minds, values act as long-term beliefs that help us make excellent decisions. -- Kyle Clements, CEO, Quipli
Stop Looking for Shortcuts, There Isn’t One
Take your time before jumping onto any hype train or decision. The way we think in our teenage life is vastly different compared to how we think in our 30s. A lot is at stake here, so it all depends on our self-awareness and preparation. The amount of information we can gather about the situation can make our decisions foolproof. Use time as much as possible; you can never be prepared enough. There are so many resources available that all you need is just time to make an informed decision. When you know the in and out of a subject regardless of business or life, making a sound decision just becomes easier. What I try to do is step back and get a wide-angle view of the whole scenario. I bring in other people with experience to get an unbiased opinion. When you let others step into your shoes, you will see stuff that is usually not visible to us. Exhausting all the resources doesn’t take money, but patience and time. -- Andreas Grant, Founder, Networks Hardware
Weigh the Potential Outcomes of Your Decision
As a business owner, a foolproof way of making better decisions in life and business starts with understanding the potential outcomes of each decision. Before deciding, break down each choice into its individual elements to determine what is likely to happen if you make a certain decision. How does it affect your business? How does it affect your employees? Take the time to research the decision and see if anyone else has had success or failure in similar situations. They may have valuable insight and knowledge for you to consider when making your own decision. Create a system that helps guide your decision-making process by asking yourself questions that revolve around cost, time, potential impact, and other core factors that can influence how effective a particular choice might be. -- Lewis Landerholm, Attorney, Pacific Cascade Legal
Give Yourself Time to Reflect
When deciding in life and in business, it’s important to give yourself some time and space to decide. Knee-jerk reactions are almost always doomed to end in disappointment. In this modern, fast-paced world, we rarely give ourselves much time to reflect on the direction our lives are taking. By giving yourself some quiet time to sit and reflect, not only will you make better decisions, but you’ll also improve your mental flexibility to help solve problems in the future. Of course, this is also important if you’ve already decided, and it hasn’t turned out in the way you wanted. Being honest with yourself doesn’t mean beating yourself up, but giving yourself the space to understand why you made that decision and what you’d do differently in the future. So next time you face a big decision, be sure to give yourself the time to mull it over, and you’ll make better choices time after time.
Richard LeCount, Managing Director, USB Makers