In the business world, leaders often need to make quick decisions. However, because they’re made during a time crunch, these choices can be rash — at least when not approached the right way.
Thankfully, there are ways to efficiently make decisions while still thinking through all your options. Below, 13 members of Young Entrepreneur Council offered tips for speeding up your decision-making process while still ensuring quality. Follow their tips to help you get better at making fast, but thorough decisions.
Q. What’s one tip you have for speeding up your decision-making process while still ensuring you’re making quality decisions?
1. Trust Your Gut
It’s simple, but powerful! You often have the right answer within and know what to do, but when we don’t trust ourselves, that’s when troubles arise. Take time to pause, think, and notice what answer feels right when you’re in a place where you aren’t basing a decision on an initial reaction or what those around you are saying. – Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors
2. Make a Pros and Cons List
Analysis can lead to paralysis, but you also need to consider every possibility. The best way to balance thoroughness with expediency is to make a pros and cons list. This visual tool can help you see the benefits of your decision alongside potential weaknesses. It ensures that every angle is considered, helping you to quickly evaluate your decisions without neglecting important details. – Brian Greenberg, True Blue Life Insurance
3. Look at the Best and Worst Outcomes
I find that I’m able to make faster decisions if I quickly assess the best and worst possible outcomes for each situation. In most cases, the worst possible outcome isn’t nearly as bad as we assume. As a result, this way of thinking allows me to think longer on impactful decisions and make quick decisions when necessary. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
4. Decentralize Your Decision-Making
In any situation, I highly recommend decentralizing things. You become agile when using a decentralized structure. You don’t need to send everything to the head office to get an OK. Teams make timely and informed decisions when given the authority to make decisions rather than having to get several approvals first. Make sure to review the results for big decisions. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS
5. Follow the 80/20 Rule
As a small business owner, I lead my team to make decisions according to the 80/20 rule — 80% of the time, I expect them to make the right decision, and 20% of the time, I expect some error. This allows my team to move quickly, making strategic decisions based on their own reasoning with no repercussions for making a misstep — and we are more responsive and take more ownership this way. – Ashley Sharp, Dwell with Dignity
6. Summarize Each Option
Take the pressure off yourself by taking notes on all the benefits and disadvantages of each specific option. Summarize each side, then think which one will be most beneficial for you in the future. Before making a final decision, set aside some time to reflect on what’s made you hesitate or want both options right now. That might provide some critical insights into this difficult choice. – Mark Stallings, Casely, Inc
7. Ask Whether the Decision Is Reversible
Reversible decisions are quick and easy to make. Permanent decisions are not. You can make decisions really quickly when they’re reversible because you can always change them if new information comes in. Permanent decisions require more thought. With this tactic, you can make the average time you spend making decisions much faster. – Cody Candee, Bounce
8. Anticipate Decisions
Rarely are important decisions you need to make popping up at the last minute. Oftentimes, you know or should know that they are coming. By anticipating, you can buy yourself the extra time needed to make sure your decision is a quality one. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
9. Ask Someone to ‘Filter’ Your Decisions
I have someone from my team do the “filtering” of my decisions. That person will research all important aspects and document everything with the purpose of making my decisions easy and fast. It’s helpful when it’s on a sheet, filtered accordingly, with a detailed fact for each choice I have narrowed down and details I might need and consider in the future. – Daisy Jing, Banish
10. Put It in Perspective
If the decision doesn’t have momentous implications for my life or business, I try to put it into perspective. It’s usually better to decide quickly based on intuition or the available evidence and look at it as an experiment. Procrastinating is often worse than making the wrong decision. The best way to approach decisions is to value making a decision more than making the right decision. – Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting
11. Know Your Goals and Priorities
Effective decision-making is important for your success. But to make good decisions, you should know what your goals and priorities are. When you know these things, it becomes easier to make the right decision because then you know what really matters to you the most. – Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite
12. Identify Your Limits
The key to fast decision-making is to know your limitations. There will be times when something comes up and you don’t know what to do next. Recognizing when you’re making an informed versus uninformed decision will help you speed up when it comes to fast, less-impactful choices while still maintaining quality when making crucial decisions. – John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC
13. Create Decision-Making Criteria
The key is to have a clear set of criteria that you can refer to when making a decision. If you spend more time figuring out the standard you need to set, you’ll breeze through the actual decision-making process. For example, if you’re trying to choose between tools, make a list of your needs and compare the features with them. You’ll be able to make the right choice faster. – Blair Williams, MemberPress
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.