An article by Peter Bregman in the Harvard Business Review will interest anyone faced with making a decision from among a range of equally appealing (or unappealing) options – which, of course, happens to most of us all the time. Such deliberations can range from the relatively trivial, like deciding what to have for lunch, to the significant, such as determining how best to broach a difficult situation at the office.
In “Three Timeless Rules for Making Tough Decisions,” Bregman points out that assessing the positive and negative attributes of various choices that face us every day can be time- and energy-consuming, diverting our attention from the ongoing work we need to achieve as well.
Bergman recommends three strategies, depending on the type of decision that needs to be made: 1) using habits as fall-back positions for routine decisions; 2) using an “if-then” approach for unpredictable choices; and 3) giving ourselves (or our teams) a time limit for decisions where there is no clear-cut solution. He offers examples for each of these approaches, and these examples are useful in deciding which (if any) strategy is most applicable to a reader’s particular set of circumstances.
If you find you have been mulling over a problem for longer than you feel is necessary or useful, you may find a route through it by applying one of Bregman’s strategies.
I invite your feedback on this or any other issue, either in the comments section below or directly via email.