Decisions decisions

January 8, 2011 at 8:30 PM 2 comments

Decisions can be hard. I have this weird thing with decisions that I seem unable to avoid putting the same amount of time, thought and effort into small decisions like what food to buy as I do in big decisions like where to live.

Marriage hasn’t made things any easier, as Tim is just as bad, only in different ways.

So we have had to come up with some techniques to alleviate this unfortunate tendency.

One is a way to decide whether or not to buy a magazine, book or suchlike. If you don’t know instantly whether it’s worth the price to you, look at the components and allocate them a value.

For example, if a book of poems costs £5, you might decide each poem you like is worth 50p to you. A really good one might be worth a quid or even more.

Articles, pictures, recipes, craft projects, chapters on interesting subjects, these are all components you can assign a value to.

Then add up the bits you like. If it comes to more than the price, buy it. Otherwise, put it back.

If you feel really sad putting it back, maybe you assigned the values wrongly. Walk away, consider it, see what else you might be buying and decide whether or not it is worth the money to you.

I like to take my time with decisions, but this can make it faster and you feel more confident you might have made the right choice.

The other one is for selecting between alternatives, such as where to go for an outing, what to eat, etc. It works well for group decisions.

Give each option marks out of ten depending on how much you feel like it, or taking various factors into account, like how muddy it might be, or calories.

For several people, you then add up all the marks for each possibility. The one with most points is what you do, unless that is unpopular, at which point you have to discuss it again and see what went wrong with the process.

We sometimes use a negative scale too for things a person really doesn’t want to do.

Sometimes two options get the same number, but at least you might have narrowed the choices down.

Are you decisive? Do you have any good tips to share? I wouldn’t mind a few more tools…


Entry filed under: disorganisation. Tags: .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Caroline  |  January 15, 2011 at 9:04 AM

    I hate making decisions, but for different reasons. I have no problem making decisions on buying stuff, if it was the wrong decision, i can live with it. But i dont like making bad decisions about big stuff, it makes me feel very uncomfortable being put in the position of having to make a decision about something that will affect my life hugely. I dont want to be held responsible if all goes horribly wrong. This has been a huge sticking point with job applications. Fortunately this time it seems to have overwhelmingly been the correct decision, yey! But even when it comes to how to spend spare time, i dont like to be held responsible if my decision was rubbish, like what to watch on tv, or which film to watch, or where we should go to have fun. I’d much rather pass on the buck of responsibility to others, as long as they make the choice that i would have made if i had the balls too!

    • 2. knotrune  |  January 15, 2011 at 10:45 AM

      Yeah, my birthday trip was an good example of how massively indecisive the whole lot of us are!


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