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  • Writer's pictureAdrian Alexandrescu

Three golden rules in taking decisions

We tend to loose too much time to make daily decisions. The issue that we are facing is the fact that all alternatives look to us equally attractive, but different enough to make each one individually attractive. Take for instance the decision to choose your lunch: fish or beef?

Here are three rules I try to apply as often as possible

1. Use existing habits to decrease the time allocated to decisions

The idea is that once you got used to something you can avoid to invest time in decision making by simply avoiding to make a decision. Just stick to the existing habit. However, if the existing habit is no longer good enough, take as much time as you need and decide what should be the new habit for, let's say, another 2 months..

2. Use IF/ THEN to transform in routine the choices that are less predictable

For instance, if I know that I have a problem in accepting a too large number of revisions, then i set a simple rule: "announce from the beginning that I will accept only 3 rounds of revisions".

3. Use a deadline

If the alternatives have been analyzed for enough time and it was impossible to reach a decision by eliminating them one by one, then it is very likely that all options are equally good. Just set a deadline, somtehing like "I will make a decision by the end of the day".

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