In-Between the Pages: Make a Decision Already!

A human averages 35,000 decisions a day, that’s a blur.

“Paralysis analysis” I’ve heard it called. We are challenged daily to make important decisions on the fly everyday. How many? There are over 400 billion bits of information per second that reach your brain daily. The big ones, the ones that are high risk and challenge us to slow it down a bit before we call it, are just a few compared to the 35,000 decisions on average a human is required to make in a single day. So how can we handle those tough ones faster and move on?

Decisions happen faster when we’ve had the opportunity to develop and learn from experiences. But sometimes, you just don’t have that experience or teaching to call on to make the best informed decision. You’re getting hammered by your boss, peer, or significant other to make a decision, but you can’t make it that quickly.

Here’s my suggestion next time you are worked into a corner. Set a timer! Everyone has a timer on their phone (even flip phones have them), a watch, or follow along on a wall clock in the office/classroom.

By setting a timer you do a few things. First, it puts you into sharp focus because you have limited time to come up with the answer. It forces your brain into problem solving mode and calling up every resource possible. Second, you have to realize that some decisions you may never solve. The timer strategy will make you call an end to it. Remember, you may have 34,999 more decisions to make yet, you need your mind back. You get to let it go when the timer buzzes and move on. Which brings me to the final benefit of the timer strategy, you will save a ton of time and time for other productivity needs by not deliberating over it longer than you need to.

Give it a try. It is incredibly simple, but incredibly effective. Happy decision making!

- Shawn

Originally published at

A single golf clap? Or a long standing ovation?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.