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Quick decisions

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%?

I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommended resources...