Monday, January 17, 2011

Making Decisions

Okay, bear with me here. I have one more question for my readers.

How do you make decisions? I'm not talking about anything earth-shattering like whether to marry someone or what school to send the kidlets to, or anything quite as simple as whether to use green or blue for the outside border. Something kind of in the middle.

What I'm asking is how do you make decisions on something that is really not a huge deal except that it will make for a huge amount of work for a couple of weeks. Do you make lists of pros and cons? Do you ask for help from friends like I'm doing here? Do you just go with your gut? Or do you let the decision make itself? Daddy used to tell me all the time, "If you don't know what to do, do nothing." When I've taken that approach, things sometimes worked themselves out, but sometimes I was left wondering if I should have done something.

I'm not going to say what I'm pondering until I do/don't do it. Then I'm sure I'll have plenty to complain .... uh, blog about.

Help!!!

27 comments:

suz said...

Interesting question. I guess it depends on the level of the problem. Bigger things I research and write down pros and cons; medium things, things I'm not totally wedded to, I solicit people whose opinions in the area I trust (my kid is great to go to!); small stuff - stuff I don't truly care how it ends up, just that it happens, I often just go with it - and have had some disasters, some learned lessons and some surprise endings. That was a help, huh?

merumo said...

I will leave it for the next a coupole of days first, then will come back to question back to me what I want to do now. I'm like your father, I'd do nothing if I can't make up my mind at that time as usually I will see pros/cons pretty much when I try to make my decision. Good luck with your decision!

Miss Jean said...

Think about it. Then talk about it. Then figure out a way to do it. The above process may take an hour, a day, a month! Not much help, am I?

Quilterbee said...

I think about it and then just do it. I don't ask other people because they really can't answer what it is I want to do. I don't list pro's and con's on paper or even in my mind. I just do what I think is best for me or others if it concerns them. Whatever way that works for you is the right choice.

Tiffaney said...

Asking the advice of somebody who has already made a similar decision and how happy are they with how it went and if they what would they change if they had to do it again.

If that doesn't work I think it is usually good to sleep on it.

"No decision is a decision"

Linda in TX said...

Good question. If it's a Big Decision, I know that I will be paralyzed for 24 hours and then it will come to me with a bang; it's usually the right one. If it's not a biggie (should I have the luncheon at my house, what color should the binding be, new hair cut or not), I just make it. Since those aren't deal breakers, whatever I decide works out fine. If it's a real puzzler (job, spouse, kid, friend related), I think hard, ask one friend (and she doesn't know she's The One!), and sleep on it. And then make the decision. I'm a pretty quick decision person unless it's Huge and needs some time to peculate (that's the 24 hour decision). Once I've made the decision, I go with it - I don't go back and wish I'd done something different.

Judith said...

Well I think about it for a few hours/days and than I make the decision which gives me the best feeling.

Sandie ~call me crazy said...

I do pro's and con's and then I look at my schedule. Will I have enough time? Will I drive myself crazy? Will a few weeks of stress be worth the end result? I let it 'sit' a few days and then revisit the issue and make the final decision. Usually, I end up with a clearer idea of which way I want to go. Good luck in your decision!

CaraQuilts said...

I tend to talk it over with my husband, or someone else close. And I also take a wait and see approach. Kinda depends on what it is.
If my gut says not a good idea I try to listen. But it can be hard to tell sometimes not a good iea from scary and slightly insecure.

Shasta said...

I'm awful with those important, but not shattering decisions. I think it depends on why the decision is so hard for you to make. I would try to gauge my feelings - where do I stand on the decision, am I leaning one way or another? One time, when I was buying a car, I knew the car I wanted, but I thought I should try out the others on my list first. Once I realized my mind was already made up, I could allow myself to just buy the thing already.

I usually try to figure out the best and worse case scenarios. Why am I afraid to make the decision, and what is the worst thing that can happen if I go one way or another? What measures can I put in place if the worse case scenario happens? If I am afraid to throw something out or give it away, knowing I can buy another if I really needed it helps make me feel better.

And sometimes it does help to ask others who are familiar with the issue. Sometimes they will tell you things you didn't know that helps make the decision easier.

Just so you know, I don't agree with your father. Not doing something is also a decision.

And once you made your decision, try to stick to it, unless the scenario and circumstances have seriously changed. If you decide to go to college, you can't stop going just because there is a snow storm or you get pregnant or you need to take out another loan. Wishy-washyness once the decision is made makes it torture.

pdudgeon said...

the older i get the more that question changes for me.

when i was 20 i thought waiting 2 years for a plant to bloom was an eternity.

when i was 40,i used to ask myself if what i was contemplating would make a difference 5 years down the road.

now at 60+, i ask myself if it is something i can accomplish in the next year or so.

my how time changes the way we view things! LOL

dianne said...

i talk it over with the Universe ... and sometimes i ask my spirit guides for ... guidance (for lack of a better word - ha ha ha)

(and i try to not ponder out loud cuz then people think i'm nutz)

katie z. said...

I make a list of pros and cons, and usually by the time I'm done, I know what I am going to decide (whether or not there are more pros for the decision I'm going to make).

jillquilts said...

For me, it's kind of a toss up between discussing options with friends/family and going with my gut. The last big decision I made was changing jobs and the whole thing was over and done with in like 2 weeks from the time that I called the head hunter so I knew it was the right decision. Heck, I didn't even tell my mom about it until I had signed the papers for the new job! :)

Vicki W said...

I take a very long shower. It helps to be in that enclosed space with all other noise blocked out so I can think clearly.

Cyn said...

Hi Vicky,

How do I make decisions?

One of the ways I make decisions that are for me just to make (not husband/wife or family decisions) is I imagine that I made the decision one way and that I am doing whatever results from that decision. I then imagine if I had made the decision the other way what I would then be doing. I then think about how I feel after imagining each decision. It's then fairly easy for me to decide which path is the correct one for me at that time.

Hope this helps. :-)

Cynthia

Anonymous said...

I have to go with Cyn (above comment) here.
Imagine how you'd feel if you made a decision one way or the other. If you get that nasty pit of the stomach feeling, hesitate, and if you don't, perhaps it's the right decision.
I kind of make my decisions by gut reaction.
Rooting for happy results.
Hugs, LadyB

Margeeth said...

I just let my subconscience make the decision 'for me'. I make sure that I am informed properly and then I just go do something else, go to sleep, do the homework and so on. After a while I just know what to do. My subconscience has been always right up to now, the couple of occasions I went against it I regretted it.

botaitai said...

I spend time in prayer, asking God for guidance as I make the decision. If I know that I am following Him then it helps once the decision has been made. I talk with people that know me well. I might consider the pros and cons.
Praying for you as you make this decision.

Infinity Quilter/Knitter said...

I usually go with my gut. If that is indecided I'll discuss with my friends/family. Good luck in your decision!

Carol said...

I'm a list maker...pros/cons on a yellow legal pad...I think every big decision in our life has been made that way...Good luck with you decision.

Mimi said...

If I want it bad enough....just do it. It'll make you happy and be well worth it.

dorthac said...

Its really hard to answer. If it is something that needs to be done and I have the time to do it then I usually start it. If I know I will not have the time to finish it like it needs to be done then I put it off until I can do it right. Your dad was right if you put it off long enough it will take care of itself in one way or the other. It might help you if you need help to ask a friend to help you. It would make a task lighter and it would certainly go faster if this is feasible. I am sorry that I didn't have a pat answer to share with you. Good luck in your decision.

Carrie said...

I think about the worst case scenario with all my options. Then the best possible outcome for each option. Then I think about what my initial gut instinct is telling me to do. And if there is one that I really want to choose but can't quite take the leap for, I try to figure out what is holding me back. Then I flip a coin.

Okay, just kidding about the last part. :)

Friends and family can be great unless they're part of the "I told you so" species and you don't follow their advice. But if you have someone whose opinion you trust, they can make a terrific sounding board. And sometimes they will think of an angle or option that you hadn't considered.

Then again, maybe you know a friend of mine who always makes "big decisions" by telling himself that life is like bungee-jumping. There comes a point where you have to step off the perch and hope for the best, keeping in mind that if unless you've made a really horrible miscalculation, you will bounce back. (He's a twisted kind of fellow but I think that's why I like him.)

AnnieO said...

Oh man, that is a loaded question! Definitely depends on whether it is family or work related, business or pleasure. Yesterday I watched Oprah for the first time in about a year and she was on her Australian adventure, talking to Russell Crowe, and in answer to a question about his acting, he said he has been trying to trust his intuition more. Oprah said, "As in DOUBT means DON'T". I thought that simple statement said a lot! Kind of goes along with your daddy's words :)

Kathie said...

think it matters what it is about.
for me I way the pro's and con's then go for it.
If its going to help you in the long term then do it!
Kathie

Lori said...

I ponder. Does it cost lots of money or just lots of work? Can I change it easily if I don't like it?