Decision-making can be stressful and overwhelming, especially when you have to deal with multiple choices, complex situations, or uncertain outcomes. Thus, one way to reduce the overwhelm is to eliminate as many details and options as possible. Minimalism has been truly helpful for me not just in decluttering physical or digital possessions, but also in decluttering my thoughts and thought processes.
There are some ways to simplify the decision-making process and make it easier for yourself. Here are six ways I use elimination techniques that have helped me make better decisions faster and with less anxiety.
Deadline for Decision-making
One of the biggest challenges of decision-making is procrastination. You may feel tempted to postpone your decision until you have more information, more opinions, or more confidence. However, this can lead to analysis paralysis and wasted time.
Instead of delaying your decision indefinitely, set a realistic time limit for yourself and stick to it. For example, if you are shopping for a new smartphone, decide how long you will spend researching and comparing different models before making a purchase. This way, you will avoid getting overwhelmed by too many options and focus on the most important factors.
Here are some boundaries I have set to eliminate the time used in decision-making:
Use the Two-Minute Rule
Another way to simplify your decision-making is to use the two-minute rule. This rule states that if you can make a decision in two minutes or less, do it right away. If not, schedule it for later or delegate it to someone else. This rule helps you prioritize your decisions and avoid spending too much time on trivial matters that don’t have a significant impact on your life or goals.
Write it Down
Once a decision cannot be made in two minutes or less, I make sure to capture it. I am a subscriber of the rule that David Allen taught,
“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.”– David Allen: Getting Things Done
So everything that you cannot do immediately, capture it and reserve it for later.
I use the Bullet Journal Method in capturing my thoughts, ideas, events, and tasks as my overall catch basin. This process has helped me reduce anxiety and helped me make mindful decisions because it helps me slow down.
Eliminate options in Decision-making
Sometimes, having too many choices can make your decision-making harder than having too few. When you are faced with a multitude of options, try to narrow them down by eliminating the ones that are clearly inferior, irrelevant, or incompatible with your criteria.
For example, if you choose a restaurant for dinner with your friends, you can eliminate the ones that are too far away, too expensive or don’t serve your preferred cuisine. By doing this, you will reduce your cognitive load and make your decision easier.
The boundaries you can set in eliminating options is that if it is not as compelling as a “hell yes,” then it might not be worth considering. Decreasing your options will help you narrow it down to what is truly relevant to you.
Eliminate the Noise
Advertisements, reviews, and other people’s opinion matters. However, we cannot pay attention to all of these things to come up with our decision. There will always be something better or someone better. What we can do is set boundaries on whom we choose to listen to.
For example, I have set my boundaries by subscribing ONLY to tech YouTubers with whom I resonate. If I am going to watch all of the videos on the planet that informs me about the tech I am interested in, I will consume all my time in the rabbit hole of my choice.
Paradoxically, we think that knowing all the possible information can help us make a decision. Truth be told that setting boundaries in our information diet is the key to making a sound decision. We have the power to be intentional about what kind of people we choose to listen
Decision-making doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful if we apply some simple techniques to simplify it. We can set time limits using the two-minute rule narrow down our options follow our intuition decrease our options, and make important decisions early. These tips can help us make better decisions faster and with less anxiety.
I am a Christian and I believe prayer is a vital part of making a sound decision. The Lord helps me most of my days not just with major decisions but even in day-to-day living. I also have the Bible as a guidebook in life which is the foundation of my life and faith. This is the primary filter I use in making decisions and I hope you can make it your own filter too. 😉