How indecisive are you?
Do you find it easy to make a decision, or are you one to deliberate and procrastinate, going round in circles in the process? Then read on for some ways to help yourself reach the best conclusion without wasting too much time
According to a recent study*, the type of decision makers we are seems to depend largely on our sex – with men twice as likely to make a decision ‘straight away’ than women. Apparently women are much more likely to consider the opinions of friends and take time on their choices, while men adopt a more immediate process.
The study also found that even though women take longer to reach their decisions overall, they are more likely to regret the choice they made further down the line.
So if you want to stop procrastinating and start making the right decisions for you, psychologist Cliff Arnall has this advice:
- Adopt an attitude of boldness. Pretend if you have to!
- Get all the information you reasonably can. Aim to find out 80% of the information you need to make your decision – and accept 100% is not feasible.
- Write down the pros and cons of your decision. Don’t hold back – being brutally truthful and open at this stage can save stress later on.
- Write down the very worst thing that can happen, e.g. lose all your savings, become homeless, be thought of as a failure by your community. It may seem pessimistic but it also helps you understand the risk you may be taking.
- Talk separately to your three closest friends and give them permission to be honest with you about what they think.
- Are your head (practical), heart (passion) and gut (instinct) aligned? If not sleep on it for a day or two. Sometimes you just wake up, knowing what the right thing is to do.
- Set yourself a date and a time at which point you will decide either way. Between 5 and 10 days is a reasonable time to consider all options and commit to a decision with conviction.
* Research commissioned by swimming pool builders Origin Leisure and carried out by OnePoll between 6-8 May 2014. Sample: 2,000 UK adults.