It’s hard to walk away from the endless decision making when you run a service-based business. But with my 6 effective strategies for decision making, it’s no longer a drain on the brain.
DECISIONS, DECISIONS, DECISIONS!
- I need 2 new clients this month. Where will I find them?
- I really need to invest in a project management tool. Which one should I go for? Asana? Trello? Monday.com?
- I need to invest in a new team member to take some pressure off my ever mounting workload, but what about the job description?
And then we make decisions about our private life.
- What should I take to the BBQ?
- What shall I wear to next week’s event?
- How do I keep the kids occupied while it’s raining outside?
- When is the best time to book my next hair appointment?
- What could I let the kids take to ‘show and tell’ tomorrow?
And to top it off, as service-based business owners, we are also helping clients make decisions.
My 6 Super-Effective Strategies For Decision Making
It really shouldn’t come as a surprise we sometimes feel like yelling out:
I mean, how nice would it be if somebody else would take some of the endless decision making out of our hands?
And while I can’t nor wouldn’t do that, I CAN give you some effective strategies for decision making that I use all the time.
1. Turn Daily Repetitive Tasks Into A Routine
This isn’t a new one, but because it is one of the most useful strategies for decision making, I couldn’t leave it out. You can find an in-depth blog and podcast on the topic here.
It talks about self-automation, habit stacking and creating routines to avoid using up all your brain power on avoidable mundane decisions.
Personally, I have 4 daily routines that help me significantly:
- My morning routine
- My work start-up routine
- My work shut-down routine
- My evening routine
If you have small children, you can also introduce an after-school routine and a dinner-bath-and-bed routine.
2. Making Good Decisions In The Morning
The early bird catches the worm. (It’s quite the image, right!? ) But it’s true. The best decisions are made when your brain is still fresh.
My effective decision-making tip number 2? Schedule time in your calendar before you take phone calls or you head off into a meeting.
3. Pay Attention To Your Head, Your Heart AND Your Gut
Balance out what‘s in your head with what’s in your heart to make sure you make smart, aligned decisions. Yes, following the data is important, but not without also listening to your gut reaction (call it instinct or intuition if you like), which often is our moral compass. It’s my humble but strong opinion that we never-ever should exclude our values and beliefs from the decision-making process.
4. Implement Systems And Processes Into Your Business
We rarely think about it in this way, but systems and processes eliminate lots and lots of small decisions.
Take the upload of a blog, for example. Unless you do the same thing in the same order again and again, you have to make lots of tiny micro-decisions every time you do it. Documenting the processes and operating strategies AND following them helps you decide without thinking about it.
5. Get Some Exercise To Facilitate The Decision Making Process
This is part of my morning routine, and it seems to come with almost guaranteed success.
There’s even a scientific explanation for it: When you’re stressed, your body produces cortisol. It’s the fight or flight hormone that is all about the survival response. Interestingly, it also reduces your ability to think clearly. (ACT! Now’s not the time to have a wee ponder about making good decisions!)
The endorphin buzz that is released during exercise, on the other hand, is renowned for boosting mental clarity.
6. Seek Wise Council When Making An Important Decision
Some decisions are easy-peasy. Some decisions we can automate (Routines and systems and processes. Oh, my!)
But some decisions... are plain hard.
We weigh up all the pros and cons. We look at it from all angles, mull it over, lose sleep,... and still the answer is stubbornly evasive.
THAT’S WHEN A BUSINESS COACH IS MIGHTY INVALUABLE.
A business coach CAN’T make decisions about your business for you, BUT they CAN be a sound board. They can help you weigh up your options, explore your thoughts and feelings. And they can help you spot your irrational tendencies. A business coach gets you started. They can point you in a direction, or help you get perspective.
If you haven’t got that person in your life, I encourage you to Book A 60 Minute Coaching Session to talk through the options, the things that are holding you back , the hurdles, the pros and cons, and the do’s and don’ts.
At the end of the session, you’ll walk away with smart and aligned decisions you feel good about.