All things being equal,* a quick decision is better than a slow one.
You can feel confident in making a quick decision if the decision…
- Is easily reversible at low cost;
- Has only trivial or short-term consequences (i.e. you will rarely notice the difference or will only have to live with a poor choice for a short time);
- Is between almost indistinguishable alternatives;
- Has little bearing on a good outcome relative to other factors;
- Only affects you.
Most of our decisions probably fall into these categories.**
Speed adds value to a decision*** by:
- Saving time and attention that can be spent on other things (so if you’re hesitating to buy “the good one” at a premium of less than 10%, the time saved in researching alternatives is probably worth at least that)…
- … including focusing on the other, more important factors that influence a good outcome (example: time for conversation or soaking in the ambience at a restaurant, which add value to the entire experience of eating out, not just to the main course you were equivocating over);
- Helping you to cultivate an attitude of not sweating the small stuff and saving you a lot of unnecessary angst;
- Speeding up the rate at which you acquire information (e.g. that X is a good or bad brand), allowing you to make better, faster decisions in future;
- Requires you to sharpen your judgement about which decisions are significant (and therefore worthy of greater deliberation) rather than handling all your decisions in the same way.
Why not make a quick decision to practice making quick decisions for the week ahead?
*They rarely are
**E.g. Food and drink; small purchases; choice of a day’s outing or activity.
***It’s hard to quantify how much, but shall we say 20%?