Studies estimate that adults make about 35,000 remotely conscious decisions every single day. If you work in a fast-paced industry like I do in marketing, you probably make more decisions than that, and most were due an hour ago.
Simple math would suggest that means if you sleep six hours a night, then during all waking hours you are making on average of 32 decisions every single minute. While some decisions like what’s for lunch may not be too critical, other decisions probably deserve much more than a few seconds of our brain time.
Recently I was faced with making an important decision, choosing between two options. My gut was telling me to go with B, and normally I would just go with it and move on to the next thousand decisions. But this time I decided to slow down and really process the differences between the A and B options. I busted out a piece of college-ruled paper and a pen and went to work on a pros and cons list.
Quickly, I was able to write down my top decision criteria and decide which option excelled in each. I then started thinking about how some criteria were more important than others and I should weight them somehow. Finally, I decided I’d give myself 24 hours to think of more criteria to ensure my thought process was thorough.
In the end, the pros and cons analysis suggested B was in fact the best option, which confirmed my initial gut reaction. In the end, I found myself even more confident in my decision and excited to move forward with option B knowing it passed both the intuitive and analytical tests. I think I just might try this slowed down decision making again soon.
–Jane Olvera Quebe, President