10 Proven Ways to Make Better Decisions

Oct. 25, 2018

yellow and white doors

Consider the consequences of your choice

When faced with a tempting choice, new research published in Psychological Science suggests that framing the choice as a sequence of events can help you imagine the future. Imagining future consequences may be a useful strategy, the researchers noted, when circumstances are less than ideal–say, when you’re multitasking, distracted, stressed, or just tired. “People often have difficulty forgoing immediate temptations, like hitting the snooze button on the alarm, for the sake of later benefits. One possible reason is that people tend to consider the immediate consequences of a particular action, like getting a few more minutes of sleep, more than the later ones, like not having time for breakfast,” explains study author Adrianna Jenkins of the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute and Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. By visualizing the consequences of an action in advance, this can help in the best choice.

Understand your emotions

Because decisions are so personal, they are fueled by our own feelings, our relationships to others, and outside powers, Professor Francesca Gino, a professor of psychology at Harvard told the New York Times. One suggestion is to tap into your immediate feelings when faced with decisions. “Take your emotional temperature. Try to be more aware of where your emotions are coming from and how, even if seemingly irrelevant, they may be clouding your decision,” Professor Gino suggests in the article.

Keep fear in perspective

Try to maintain a positive outlook and don’t be too fearful. Research shows that we tend to have greater regrets about decisions that have gone wrong when we feel we approached the subject without looking into it deeply enough or considering enough options, said Terry Connolly, a professor of management and organizations at the University of Arizona, to the New York Times.

Read the full article at Reader's Digest

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