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Stop getting stuck in indecision. Take a fresh look at making difficult decisions.

We all do it don’t we? We get bogged down in the detail of making difficult decisions. The greater negative impact happens when there is no decision. The time that passes can never be brought back. This is why no decision is worse than making a decision that wasn’t quite right, do you agree? This blog series explores the different skills in making difficult decisions especially for our purposes of organising and simplifying our home and life. By putting these into practice you will feel more settled, more confident and move towards making difficult decisions.

Method 1 The List Maker

This is one of the most commonly used and perhaps considered old-fashioned methods for making difficult decisions easier. You don’t want to dismiss its amazing power to decipher choices and get to the real heart of an issue or need. Its true for me that as soon as I put pen to paper things start to become real and in some magical way take on their own life. This is incredibly helpful when you feel too close to a decision or too emotionally attached to the outcome. The words on the paper now show the reality of the situation. There is no escaping with convoluted reasoning running through my mind. It is in front of you in black and white. It’s not just me that feels this way, studies (as well as my own observations with workshop participants and clients) support the good old list maker method. What is understood about writing versus typing is the act of handwriting forces our mind to organise the thoughts and feelings as we go. This affects how we are interpreting the information. I have witnessed this positive effect so often that I now encourage participants to write as much as possible. When organising and simplifying your home and life you’ll need the skill of decision making. The only bad decision is the one that is never made. Choosing what you want to eliminate from your life and home will be tied up with quite a bit of emotional attachment. Having a clear method for decisions will support you through the process. Start with one of the most effective and easiest methods right away.
Types of lists you could use for making difficult decisions easier:
  • The Pros and Cons List – helps to get very clear black and white results
  • Process List – write a list of if decision equals “X” then result is “Y” for each scenario
  • Mind Map – I suppose this is not a literal list but has the same effect for those who are more lateral thinkers
  • Quadrant Map – is somewhere between a list and a mind map give each quadrant a value and fill in the various items of the decision that will affect the area.
Watch the video for an example of how you might set up a decision-making quadrant map.
Of course, you can do all of these list-making methods in a digital format as well. Evernote is one that I find simple to use and very functional for many ways of keeping information. There are a huge array of Smartphone apps to try if digital is your preference I’d advise trying them out to find what suits you best before committing to just one. For those of you who are list makers for difficult decisions, I’m sure others would love to hear how it has helped you. If you are new to list making for decisions reach out and ask any questions. Make sure you check out the next blog in the series for more Methods for Making Difficult Decisions Easier.