Tuesday, February 12, 2019

One decision making system

Different situations and decisions need different decision making systems. This system is for individuals who are making big decisions about personal matters without a single right answer. And you are not in a rush to make the decision. It is for important decisions like buying a house, choosing an education, applying for jobs, etc. These decisions have many options and some of them are better than others, but there is no one right way to do them. What I am offering is a framework about the process.

Start by limiting options and their parameters

You have a limited bandwith in your brain. Too much information will paralyze it. Start by first thinking about the most important parameters for the last options. For example, if you are buying a house choose the ranges for prices, squaremeters, amount of rooms, in which floors you can live in, etc. Do not have an unlimited list of parameters. Some research suggests that ten different parameters is the maximum. Depending on the decision, three parameters can be enough. Whatever the amount of parameters, keep things as simple as possible. The fewer the better, but be sure you have enough information.

When you get this far, think about the possibility of using some tools that are provided by other people, like price comparison and product disclosure information, and customer rewiews before limiting your options. You can also have a system that gives different parameters different scores and sums them up. After doing this, choose a limited amount of options with most points to do the final decision. The amount of options should be small. I recommend no more than three options, but you can have five. Do not surpass this limit.

Right environment and timing for doing the decisions

Having the right environment and making the decision in the right time are important no matter what decisions are made. The bigger and more effective the decision the more important these two factors become. No matter what decisions are made. Lets start with the right environment. If you have to make a big personal decision, allow no distractions while making it. Shut down all your communications devices unless you need them in your decisions. Shut off your pings for email and put your phone on silent mode. If the decision doesn´t have effect on others, be alone. Be also aware of any silent cues like paintings, etc. If you have three options, don´t have any single cues about decisions like photos of the houses you are choosing from.

Timing is also important. If you have to make a big decision, don´t do it during the slump. Do it during your peak hours instead. You have to also think about how well you have slept before doing the decision or how many decisions you have made during the day before doing it. The less the better. When you have to make a rational decision, you may need enough willpower to use your conscious part of the brain. The optimal time for having enough willpower is during your peak hours. The time you eat can also be important for making the right decision. Have a break after eating a lot before making the decision. And don´t make decisions when you are hungry. Your glucose levels can be too high or too low for effective decision making if you eat at the wrong time. If you have to meet another person to make a decision, schedule this meeting for the best time for you if possible.

You can have psychological tendencies that move you to the wrong direction. Their effect on you diminishes when you have the right environment and the right timing. Most tendencies are more useful than harmful. In big decisions, conscious brain should have a lead. Sometimes you have a gut instinct that leads you to one direction. It can lead to you to the right decision. When you have two equal options, listen to your unconscious mind and do the decision based on its impressions.

This is all for now,

Next week I will not publish anything. I will be back after a fortnight.


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