Monday, September 12, 2011

Hone your decision-making skills

By Sheridan Tax & Bookkeeping

Slow decision-making wastes time, as do spur-of-the-moment decisions that result in costly and time-consuming mistakes. But the worst thing you can do is to procrastinate on decision-making. “Don’t be afraid of being wrong. We learn from our mistakes; but if we do nothing we neither accomplish anything nor learn anything. Here are five tips to keep in you in the decision-making process.

1. Delay until you have enough information, but don’t wait until you have all the information. Have the courage to make decisions with only 70 to 80 percent of the facts.

2. Spend time in proportion to the importance of the decision. Don’t waste a lot of time discussing the menu for the staff Christmas party. Make minor decisions quickly. If the consequence of the decision is not important, it is not worth much of your valuable time.

3. If the decision is yours alone to make, and you seem to be bogged down in the process, it’s frequently faster in the long run to leave the problem for a while. Work on some unrelated jobs for a few hours or even a few days, and then tackle the problem anew. The change in pace will revitalize your thinking. But delay it once only or you will be tempted to procrastinate.

4. Always make short-term decisions with long-range objectives in mind. Don’t make a Band-Aid decision that solves the immediate problem but results in time-consuming problems further down the road.

5. Don’t waste time on past decisions. Instead of saying, “If only I had done such and such…” say, “Next time I will ….”

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