Decision Making: How to Become More Decisive


Youth Decision Making Concept, Top View

Have you ever stopped and thought about how many decisions take place during an organizing session? I would say hundreds even thousands of decisions are made in a matter of a session in one day. Either my customer is making the decisions if we are working on a project together or if my team is unpacking a whole house, we are making the decisions all day.

It goes to show that professional organizers need to be good decision makers and need to know how to lead someone into making decisions wisely and quickly. The clock is ticking when we decide to go through an entire master closet, so making decisions fast is a learned art and a valuable skill to have.

Of course there are decisions we make each and every day that have nothing to do with organizing. I was discussing this concept with a friend over coffee. How does one become a better decision maker? How does a person become more decisive?   I’ve been told I’m a fast decision maker and I’ve always thought of myself as being able to make decisions but recently this year I realized although I’m great at making decisions for work, I have neglected making personal decisions. Someone pointed this out to me and I was so shocked. They point blank said “You are not making decisions for yourself. “ I was convicted to start making decisions in my personal life instead of being paralyzed by loss and fear.

It got me thinking as to what prevents us from making decisions and I believe these are the top reasons So consider these thoughts. Can you identify? Which are your triggers in delaying decision making? The more we know about ourselves the greater opportunity we have to start working on these hang ups and start making decisions.

  1. Fear-  “What might happen if I choose ___________?

Most choices can result in several different outcomes so the fear that plagues us is the fear of the unknown. On very large decisions, I would agree that fear is a healthy trigger to stop us from doing something stupid.  On small matters, there shouldn’t be any fear.  Just in case the result isn’t what we wanted, we can always rectify the situation and change course. Ask yourself, “What’s the worst case scenario for an outcome if I make this decision?”  On small matters I’m confident the worst case scenario is always fixable. No big deal. Slow down for the huge, life altering decisions.

  1. Lack of Information– “ How can I make this decision if I don’t know______? “

You are absolutely right. Find information, research or read enough to help you make an educated decision. Now understand, do just enough. You don’t need to read books and volumes or spend gobs of time and energy doing this. Do your due diligence and limit your “research time”. Otherwise you’ll be bogged down and never make the decision.

  1. Lack of Confidence“ I always make the wrong choice.”

Not true. The more you practice making decisions and the more you change the lens how you look at making decisions the better you will become and you will start to believe in yourself. Avoid negative self-talk. Negativity is getting you nowhere fast. It’s actually hurting you in the long run.  Just because your parents, ex-spouse or cruel friend accuses you of it, doesn’t make it true and doesn’t mean you don’t have the ability to change.

  1. Others influence or opinion“ I can’t decide that because of ___________.”

This blank can be filled in with words such as my boss, spouse, sister, coworkers, and parents. Stop giving your power to other people. When I say power, I don’t mean you’re king or you’re the president. I mean you are capable of making your own decisions if the impact of that decision is first and foremost on yourself, go ahead and make the decision.  Clearly I don’t want you deciding to sell your home without consulting your wife, but on all matters for yourself decide to decide. You have the freedom to. Others don’t have a hold on you and should not have a hold on you. If they do, you have unhealthy boundaries with those around you and I would recommend reading the book “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud. My life changed after reading that book.

  1. Loss“I emotionally can’t handle making that decision right now. “

That is perfectly fine. It is perfectly acceptable to be grieving or mourning a loss that prevents you from making a decision. Should the loss paralyze you indefinitely? No, but there are times in life when you are thankful just to make it through one day to make it to the next day without forcing yourself to make a decision. When you are under that much grief, stress, or sadness no one should be making decisions that they will regret later. I think losing something in our life also helps us clarify what we really want and what we really value. Out of all that loss and grief comes clarity and purpose.

Amber Kostelny

Amber’s Organizing, LLC

7401 W. Howard St.

Chicago, IL 60631

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