Stop Overthinking Big Decisions

Harvard Business Review

Posted  27 Views updated 5 days ago

Thoughtful deliberation is an essential leadership quality that can help you make better decisions and produce better outcomes. However, it can also devolve into overthinking, which can be paralyzing. Here are three ways to avoid a thought spiral that can slow you down:

  1. Curb your perfectionism. Perfectionism is one of the biggest blockers to swift decision-making, because it operates on faulty all-or-nothing thinking. To curb this tendency, ask yourself questions like: What’s one thing I could do today to bring me closer to my goal? Or what’s the next step based on the information I have right now?
  2. Pay attention to your intuition. When it comes to difficult decisions, your gut reaction is often an important data point, particularly when time is short or when you don’t have all the information you need. Research shows that pairing intuition with analytical thinking helps you make better, faster, and more accurate decisions and gives you more confidence in your choices than relying on intellect alone.
  3. Construct creative constraints. Determine a date or time by which you’ll make a choice. Put it in your calendar, set a reminder on your phone, or even contact the person who’s waiting for your decision and let them know when they can expect to hear from you.


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