5 top tips on making desicisions

I’ve just read an interesting article by David Wethey, founder of AAI, writing for the Marketing Society. He offered 5 tips on how to make decisions which sounded pretty good to me. I’ve summarised them below with a few of my own thoughts added:
1. Beware the obvious – sometimes the simple answer is wrong, but we do learn from our mistakes.
2. Avoid information overload – David likens data to fine wine. As he puts it “too little and you will be miserable; too much and it will cloud your judgement!” Data only becomes valuable when we put it to use.
3. Decision making is like exercising – the more we do, the easier it gets and the better decisions we make. It’s also a good idea to warm up with simpler decisions, before tackling the heavy stuff.
4. Focus on downsides, not upsides. We very rarely get surprised by unexpected upsides and even if we do, it’s unlikely to make us regret our decisions. Downsides are a completely different story – hard to spot (remember the law of unintended consequences) and potentially very dangerous. Much more likely to give rise to the “if only I’d known …”
5. Success comes from making decisions – not fudging them. When we confront things and make a change we create the potential for a better result.
If I were to add a 6th tip it would be “R&R”, no sadly not putting up our feet – Record and Review. Things can change rapidly, and it can be hard to look back objectively on what we knew when we made a decision. Reviewing our decisions and the consequences should help us make better decisions, learn which data and people help us make the best decisions and keep a balanced perspective on our decision making. It’s easy to dwell on our ‘bad’ decisions, and forget all about the good ones – recording the decisions we made, the background to them and their outcomes will improve our confidence and performance.
You decide