Habitual Decision Making: How to Make Sound Decisions Quickly, 16 Ways

By: | November 4, 2022 | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Do you struggle with habitual decision making?

Does the thought of making decisions paralyze you?

Do you wish you could make decisions quicker?

After all, if you make the wrong decision in business, you could lose money and even personal relationships.

It’s true: Making decisions is scary.

By the time you are done reading this article, you will know expert methods to help you with habitual decision making. Five experts weigh in.

Are you ready to get off the merry-go-round and go forward with confidence that you are making sound decisions?

Janice Wald’s Habitual Decision Making Methods

How can I call myself an expert in the area of habitual decision making?

Am I a coach, a TED Talk Speaker, or the CEO of a Fortune 500 Company?


However, I am a teacher.

According to research, teachers make a whopping 1,500 decisions each day.

Weigh the Pros and Cons

Habitual Decision Making Method 1

Evaluate the upside and the downside. Coach Martell agrees this habitual decision making method is valuable. More on Coach Martell’s strategies later.

Take a piece of paper and fold it into two halves. Title one half “Yes” and the other half “No.”

Compare your lists.

They don’t have to be even in number. For instance, if you have three pros and only one con but the one disadvantage of making your decision is so devastating, there would be no way to recover, don’t do it.

By seeing the pros and cons side by side you don’t have to visualize what can go right or wrong. You can see it in black and what right in front of you on the paper.

Err on the Side of Caution

Habitual Decision Making Method 2

This method of habitual decision making takes a negative approach:

Before you make a decision, ask yourself what could go wrong.

Can you troubleshoot the possible consequences of a bad decision?

If there is no way to cushion yourself ahead of time from the possible consequence of a wrong decision, err on the side of caution and make a different choice.

Note: This method varies from method 1. The first method of habitual decision making asks you to write both the pros and cons.

If you are too busy to follow the method or you are well aware of the advantages of your decision so you don’t need to write them down, then just write the reasons NOT to make the decision.

You always ask yourself what can go wrong before proceeding.

You troubleshoot so that if something goes wrong, you have a solution before you take an action.

Set Priorities

Habitual Decision Making Method 3

Color-Code Your Choices

Get a notebook. In the notebook, list your choices. Put boxes next to the choices.

If the choice is on your to-do list, there is no choice. You must complete the task.

More habitual decision making tips: Color code the degree of urgency. For instance, I draw red arrows next to urgent choices.

Set Policies

Habitual Decision Making Method 4

Have policies to aid in habitual decision making.

For instance, we are besieged by brands who want discounts from our business. Have set policies in place to take the decision-making out. You’ll save time and won’t have to worry your emotions will get in the way of your habitual decision making.

For instance, your return business gets perks like a jump to the front of the queue but not monetary perks.

Decision-making can be subjective. By setting and implementing policies, you take the thought out of the decision.

One habit that an entrepreneur should gain to be more successful is to make objective decisions. In other words, get your emotions and your ego out of the decision.

In order to make objective decisions, you need definitive criteria and stick to it. This will enable you to make an objective evaluation of the risks.

For instance, during the pandemic, brands wrote me expecting discounts. I stuck to my criteria. I ignored my emotions telling me to give in. By habitually using objective criteria to make decisions, you will be focused and consistent in your decisions. This leads to a boost in productivity and sales.

Know the “Why”

Habitual Decision Making Method 5

Before you can make decisions, you need to know why you are making the decision. In other words, what is your goal? What do you hope to accomplish?

In education, we follow a concept called “backward mapping.” We start at the end. We determine our goal first, Only then do we decide how we are going to get there. That is your decision. Making your decision leads you toward your goal.

Tim Ferris’s Habitual Decision Making Methods

Conduct a Risk/Benefit Analysis

Habitual Decision Making Method 6

Ferris is famous for developing the concept of the 4-hour work week.

Ferris believes in conducting a risk/benefit analysis. This involves best and worst-case scenarios.

He believes if you can stop the losses and you have a chance of a major upside, you should make the choice.

He disagrees with my method of a pro/con list. His rationale: He called it a laundry list that he doesn’t find actionable personally.

Take a Whole Body Yes Approach

Habitual Decision Making Method 7

habitual decision making
Photo by Azis Js on Pexels.com

Ferris believes you should ask yourself in the head, the heart, and the gut if you are doing the right thing by making your choice. If any one of the body parts says “no” to you, don’t make the choice. He credits the Conscious Leadership Group with this method.

He calls this method intuition. If intuition points you in a different direction than the choice you want to make, don’t make the choice.

One important note though…

You can’t throw out risk/benefit analysis and just go with your gut. You need to use these methods in conjunction with one another. They both must be present.

If you’d like to discover more about Tim Ferris’s habitual decision making process, watch this video.

Gary Vaynerchuk’s Habitual Decision Making Methods

Don’t Overthink

Habitual Decision Making Method 8

Gary Vaynerchuk, also known as Gary Vee, is a highly successful entrepreneur and internet personality.

Have you heard of the expression, “Spin your wheels?”

When you spin your wheels, you go round and round without making forward motion.

If you are stuck in an endless loop of vascillating between choices, Vaynerchuck’s advice is to randomly pick one of them to pursue.

He explains overthinking slows you down. Vaynerchuck advises you to go with the decision you can make the quickest.

Sacrifice Time

Habitual Decision Making Method 9

When torn between two options, if trying one costs you time and trying the other costs you money, Vaynerchuk advises to try the one that costs you time. Losing money is a greater sacrifice than losing time.

CEOs’ Habitual Decision Making Methods

Look on the Bright Side

Habitual Decision Making Method 10

Too often we play “What if…” with ourselves. We are highly negative as we contemplate all that can go wrong.

Instead, consider what can go right.

Don’t Reevaluate Previous Decisions

Habitual Decision Making Method 11

Living in the past slows you down. You can’t be successful if you keep looking behind you and analyzing whether you should have made old decisions.

In order to be successful, you need to look toward the future.

Give Yourself a Break

Habitual Decision Making Method 12

Making decisions is scary. Avoid self-criticism.

If you spend time criticizing yourself for not making decisions faster or making the wrong decisions in the past, your habitual decision making process will be slowed even further.

Change Your Values

Habitual Decision Making Method 13

If you are stuck trying to make a decision because what seems like the right choice to make contradicts your values, change your values.

This will get you “unstuck” and you will be able to make forward motion.

For instance, I had a friend whose husband abandoned her and her three children. She refused to file for divorce since her parents ingrained in her that divorce is wrong and marriage is forever.

She kept asking everyone she knew what to do. They all told her to file for divorce and move on.

Had she changed her mindset about the finality of marriage, she would have had an easier time making the choice to file for divorce and end her marriage.

Source Millionaire Success Habits

Business Founders’ Habitual Decision Making Methods

Label Your Decisions

Habitual Decision Making Method 14

Coach Dan Martell shares an idea he borrows from former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

There are two types of decisions: Type 1 and Type 2.

Type 1 Decisions: Picture a door that you can only enter and not leave. Type 1 decisions are like these. There is no going back. He gives an example of buying a company and taking on investors. That is a major decision.

Type 2 Decisions: You can go back through the door and change your original decision.

According to Martell, you should spend more time making Type 1 decisions than you do making Type 2 decisions.

This makes sense. If you can work your way out of the decision, you don’t need to spend so much time making it.

Look at how Coach Martell just saved you time when you make a choice.

Make Fewer Decisions

Habitual Decision Making Method 15

Again Coach Martell shares an idea he borrowed from Jeff Bezos.

Only make one or two decisions in the course of your day, and make them when you are the most productive.

By making fewer decisions, you will save time and prioritize the decisions you choose to make.

Don’t Make Decisions Based on Past Experiences

habitual decision making

Habitual Decision Making Method 16

Don’t make decisions out of fear that the past will repeat itself.

Remind yourself that you’ve grown.

Instead of stressing that your choice might not work out again, remind yourself that your choice could work out this time.

If you’d like to learn more about Coach Martell’s habitual decision making strategies, you will find them in the video.

Habitual Decision Making: FAQ

What are the two types of habitual decision making?

Coach Dan Martell borrows the answer from Jeff Bezos: The two types of decisions are Type 1 and Type 2. Martell explains you should take more time and thought making a Type 1 decision since there is no going back. Type 2 is a decision you can back out of; therefore, it shouldn’t require as much time or thought.

Wrapping Up: Habitual Decision Making Tips

Now that you have read this post, you are a sound decision maker.

I look forward to your views in the comments section. How do YOU make decisions?

Readers, please share so people from all walks of life discover this post and learn how to make habitual decisions better and faster.

Related Reading

How to Make Good Business Decisions in 2022, a Guide

  1. Ryan Biddulph

    I love the advice for not over thinking Janice. I tend to decide slowly but surely by making firm, definite decisions. Developing this habit helped me with my blogging career.


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