Seeing Through a Window Pane

Decision-Making Simplified

We constantly are making decisions in our daily lives. As the world becomes more complex and more and more options are available, decision-making sometimes becomes very difficult. We sometimes allow ourselves to be overwhelmed and to some extent almost let life make the decision for us. I usually feel that the fewer choices I have, the easier and more effective decision-making becomes. How do I reduce the range of choices I have so that I am less harried about making a decision?

At this point, think how much easier it would be to make decisions if we had a tool to help simplify matters. I use a tool that involves visualizing the situation with the help of a mental grid. Let me give you a small example of how I do this.

Strolling through a mall, looking at the myriad items fetchingly arranged to catch shoppers’ attention, I sometimes find myself in a situation where I catch sight of something interesting. At that point, there are numerous thoughts going through my head. Should I buy it, should I shop around elsewhere for it, is it good value for money, what am I going to do with it—I just can’t make up my mind.

I use the simple tool of a Johari’s window to help rid myself of the confusion and take a decision. I draw a mental 2 x 2 matrix with two axes—on the x-axis, I put down whether it is a need or a want and on the y-axis, I put down the value it will bring to my life: high or low. If the value is high and it is a need, then I buy it. If the value is low and it is a want, then I don’t bother with it. If the value is low but it is a need, then I might shop around for it. If the value is high and it is a want but not a need, then I might consider treating myself to it. Therefore, I essentially break down a decision into simple terms that help me make up my mind.

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