The decisions we make determine our reality, and we make about 2,000 of them every waking hour, so inevitably, we all make some poor decisions every single day.

But if we are aware of the enemies of good decision-making, and take steps to outmaneuver them, we can make better decisions that have a positive impact on the people we work with and lead.

Consistently making good decisions is arguably the most important habit we can develop, especially at work. The following mindsets can be detrimental to good decision-making, so when you have to make an important decision, be on the lookout for:

Decision fatigue. Our ability to perform mental tasks and make decisions wears thin when it’s repeatedly exerted. To counter it, identify the most important decisions you need to make, and, prioritize your time so that you make them when your energy levels are highest.

State of distraction. The technology tsunami of the past decade has ushered in an era of unprecedented convenience, and it’s also created an environment where information and communication never cease. Researchers estimate that our brains process five times as much information today as in 1986. Consequently, many of us live in a continuous state of distraction and struggle to focus. To counter this, find time each day to unplug and step back from email, social media, news, and the onslaught of the Information.

Emotions. Experiencing frustration, excitement, anger, joy, etc., is a fundamental part of the daily human experience. And while these emotions have a meaningful role in our lives, our emotions, especially during moments of peak anger and happiness, can hinder our ability to make good decisions. Deciding to speak or send an email while angry often compounds a tough situation. To counter this, pay attention to your emotional state and resist the temptation to respond to people or make decisions while you’re emotionally keyed up.

Our decisions shape our relationships, and increasingly in today’s hyper-connected world, decisions contribute to our energy level and how efficient we are in the various aspects of our lives.


Inspired by: Harvard Business Review - 6 Reasons We Make Bad Decisions, and What to Do About Them, by Mike Erwin