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How many times have you reached a point where there’s a fork in the road? A decision is needed but you don’t seem to be able to make it. The common refrain is “I just need more time”.

Does this sound familiar?

In most situations you don’t need more time, you just need to make a decision.

But how can you break the cycle? How can you just “make a decision”?

Here are my thoughts….

1. Take yourself out of it. Pretend you are advising a friend. Without the emotional involvement in the issue the decision will come to you quicker and with more clarity.

2. Trust your instinct. As Malcolm Gladwell says in his book “Blink“, thin-slicing is a very valid way of making decisions. In the overwhelming majority of cases, studies have shown that using small details to build up a picture of the whole will then help you make a better decision. There are further studies that suggest that the more time you spend pondering, the worse a decision will be.

3. Make the decision once. There’s a great podcast series that I listen to called Manager Tools. One of the phrases they use from time to time is “murdering the unchosen alternative”. This basically means that once you’ve made a decision, don’t look back however tempting it might be. It won’t create more insight, just more anxiety.

4. Use consensus properly. Most people think that consensus is about everyone agreeing. It isn’t, it’s about everyone having their say then fully supporting the best answer.

More time does not create better decisions, so don’t watch the world spinning….gently out of time!

About the song:

Right from their earliest days with She’s So High and, of course, There’s No Other Way I have been a Blur fan. Like my comments on David Bowie last week, Blur have changed and metamorphosed so many times through their rich history. This song is from the “Think Tank” album and sees them adopt an African vibe with the help of numerous musicians from Marrakech on cello, violin, oud and the like. Complete with an anti-war video, the melody and “out of time” refrain will stay with you all day if you give it a chance!