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Top-Shelf Tip No. 110:

"Most discussions of decision making assume that only senior executives make decisions or that only senior executives' decisions matter. This is a dangerous mistake."

Peter F. Drucker

Are You Ditching Decision Making?

Have you ever made a bad decision, then looked back and wondered why? Of course, we've all done this. I look back and wonder: Why did I turn down that offer to work for an agency in New York? Why did I charge the customer so much? Why did I hire that friend of a friend who wasn't really qualified?

We all make bad decisions, but as business blogger Darius Foroux points out, those bad decisions never seem like bad decisions in the moment.

In a recent post, Foroux shares some key points about the decision-making process from two of the most successful investors of all time, Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger, who were featured in Buffet's biography by Alice Schroeder. We share these insights on decision making in today's issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

Don't Overthink. Smart people are way too preoccupied with doing the right things. They want to have the perfect life, career, house, business, car, holiday, etc. When you put too much pressure on yourself to make the right decisions, you get analysis paralysis with no good outcome. The only way you can stop overthinking is to make yourself aware of your thinking process.

Do This Instead: Make Small Decisions Early. Foroux referred to the way Charlie Munger thinks. One of his decision-making strategies is to avoid mistakes. But that can be interpreted in different ways. You can fear decisions altogether because you might make mistakes. What happens is that you don't make decisions at all. As Munger says: "The difference between a good business and a bad business is that good businesses throw up one easy decision after another. The bad businesses throw up painful decisions time after time."

Foroux interprets this as follows: When you make small decisions early, before they become big—it's easy. When you put off decisions, they become big—and painful.

For example, Foroux said he was not happy with the email provider used to send out his newsletter and for a long time put off moving to another vendor. The hassle of making that move got bigger every day. Had he moved it early, it would have been easy. By waiting, it became a more painful process.

Earlier Decisions Lead To Better Decisions. The earlier and more you decide, the more chance that you make better decisions. Not making a decision is also a decision. If that's a conscious move, that's okay. You think about something, and you decide that doing nothing is the best option.

However, if you are putting off a decision, then you need think why you are doing it. No matter what, you're making decisions all the time. Instead of making fewer conscious decisions, we need to make them earlier.

Source: Darius Foroux is an entrepreneur, blogger and podcaster who focuses on productivity, habits, decision-making and personal finance.

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson