Choosing Decision Making

So What Would YOU Choose?















Which ice cream would you pick? Maybe you could eat all four. What if there were 8 or 16? Sometimes, we have to choose what to do because we can’t always have everything. If we have several options and they are all fairly alike, how to we decide which one to do and in which order? For some people there would be no choice. They may not like or be able to eat ice cream. But the same types of decisions are needed for almost anything.

Some possibilities are more highly regarded than others. In terms of ice cream, perhaps chocolate in any form is always preferred? Some courses of action are preferred over others. Perhaps walking away or maybe choosing one and saving the others in the freezer? There can be many choices: many courses of action. How do you pick a winner?

We all have to make decisions all the time. Some are trivial like which ice cream, though for some people that can be a life-changing decision if perhaps you are allergic or diabetic. There are also life-changing decisions like who to marry (or not), where to study or whether to start a business. Try watching the video and see whether you would survive – or not!

Decision-making is often an unconscious choice based on our values, beliefs and preferences. It can sometimes be life or death, such as if we are driving a car and have to choose the speed to approach a corner. These are the kinds of choices we have to make quickly and automatically, where we rely on mental shortcuts we learned from past situations or developed over the years.

Some times, choosing is a long agonizing process. Which ring (of several) should we choose, which bit of housework should we do first (they all need done).

Some of the things that make it harder to decide can include missing information, stress from urgent deadlines, and not enough resources. Stress can make it hard to make a decision. Our emotions and preferences can affect our decision making process. When we have to choose how to make a hard decision, we often are influenced by our prejudices (men don’t do housework), memories (my mother used to do this for me) and emotions (feeling sad, or the last time I did this, this particular thing happened).

Paralysis By Analysis

If you have to choose one of several possibilities, all of which are similar in terms of length of time to do, their importance or urgency, it can be difficult to choose which to do first and that can waste your time. Sometimes it is best just to make a decision – go for this one – work on it, complete it and then choose the next. If you only have two choices, flip a coin and go with the one that the coin indicated. If you find yourself dithering between which project of several similar ones to start first, a coin is not as easy, so then try this.


Lay out the projects in front of you, you could use sheets of paper with a title on each one, representing the project. Then use any of your old children’s choosing rhymes, you know, the ones where you chose a companion for your team. Ones like, “Eeny meeny miny mo”, or “Each peach, pear, plum, I choose Tom Thumb”. Point to each project in turn while reciting the rhyme and pick the one your finger lands on.


If you pick a project and think, “Great, I’ll get stuck into this.”, then fine, get on with it and when it’s finished, choose another.

BUT, if at the point where your coin flip or counting rhyme indicates one project and you immediately have the feeling that you should flip the coin again, or do the counting rhyme again, then put that project to the side. With only two projects, then you start on the one that’s left. With several projects, do the counting rhyme of your choice again, leaving out the one that was chosen the previous time.


Often, our unconscious knows which one is most important or easiest to get stuck into or which one will give us the best “win”. You do not have to go with what the coin or rhyme picked out for you. It it feels wrong at this moment, then choose again.

What If There Are No Choices Left?

It is possible that you don’t want to do any of the projects. After all, if it’s a choice between doing the laundry or washing dishes, neither might be appealing. But they may HAVE to be done. In this case, use the coin or counting rhyme and don’t allow yourself any slack. Most of these kinds of tasks are done a lot more quickly than it takes to moan about them. Just get stuck in, you’ll be surprised how fast they can be done if you just do them. If you have several projects that all have to be done, then choose one and spend 15 minutes on it. Then stop that one and spend 15 minutes on the next. Keep doing this until you have completed some or all of your projects. If this is a long job, allow yourself a few minutes to rest each hour and make sure you drink water.

Easy Creative Problem Solving one likes it when they are stuck at a simple problem and can’t find an instant solution to it. It can feel like a giant gas balloon inside you that starts to grow as soon as you face the problem and it is almost on the verge of bursting if you do not find a solution soon. The problem could be in your kitchen while cooking and you can’t find a kitchen tool that you know you had yesterday or searching for your credit card at the shop counter with a queue building up behind you. There is no point in panicking or getting angry because these will not help to solve the problem. That is where creative problem solving methods come to your rescue. They can keep you from unwanted tension and the consequences of that tension.

Creative problem solving techniques you should know

The problems you face daily may not be the same each time. But, if you calm down and think, you will understand that there may be some simple solutions to those problems and following a few easy techniques may help to get rid of the problem. So, here are some of the techniques that you need to keep in mind:

Keeping your head together and finding your center (getting grounded).

Many problems arise when there is inner confusion amongst people. You may have several options and you may get confused as to which option would be suitable. Your mind says one thing while your heart says something else. This leads to conflicting beliefs, perceptions, and wants. Whenever such a situation arises, you should concentrate on what is more important to you. Finding your center is the way to do it. When you center yourself (become grounded), the options will automatically get shortlisted leaving you with an easy choice.

Walk away from the problem

Although this might seem to be running away from the problem it is actually helpful and is one of the most effective creative problem solving methods. Walking away doesn’t mean you don’t want to face the problem. It is just that the problem is not worth spending time on, that’s all. However, it is the timing that you should keep an eye on. You need to know when to let go of the problem. Sometimes, you just need to walk away for a while, not altogether. Getting some space to think or to ignore the problem can be really helpful. Kicking up leaves under the trees or actually going for a walk can truly help you find a solution.

Try a different perspective

Sometimes, it is not just what we think is right. Shifting your perspective and thinking from the point of view of others can actually help to understand their viewpoint as well. You can approach the problem from a different angle and that can help get a solution quickly. For instance, I received a parcel the other day. The sender had put so much parcel tape on it that it was difficult to open but when I turned it over, the bottom was very easy to open! mind may tend to run always to the same solutions because of the life you lead. Trying a different tack or trying someone else’s solution or looking at it from their point of view may open up avenues you might not have dreamt of. This may take you out of your comfort zone but that can be very helpful (if initially uncomfortable) in finding new and creative solutions.

Ask questions

When there is a given set of problems, you have to look at the possible outcomes to those problems. Asking more questions like “why not?”, “what if?”, or “what would be the solution if the problem could be solved backward?”, and so on, can help you get an answer to the problem. Sometimes, a head-on approach to the problem does not lead you to the required solutions. You may have to take a few steps around to find the answer to the problem. These steps may initially seem like time wasters but they allow your brain to come up with better solutions.

Come up with multiple ideas

This may seem to contradict the “find your center” technique but unless you have a number of ideas that can solve a problem, you cannot come to terms with finding your center. Research has shown that the more ideas you have, the easier it is for the brain to come up with a definite solution. That is why there are brainstorming sessions at offices so that everyone can collaborate in finding the best and most acceptable solution from all the possible solutions. However, you have to be non-judgmental while coming up with the ideas. It will allow you to develop plenty of ideas before evaluating which is best.

The problems that you have in your head are far more confusing than the problems that you had to solve when you were at school. There was a definite problem solving solution to those problems but in order to solve life problems, you need to come up with unique creative problem solving methods.