Waiting too long to make decisions can slow down companies, frustrate employees, and lead to missed opportunities. But it can be hard to know whether you should just go ahead and choose or gather more data first. In these situations, consider two factors.
- How important is the decision? When it’s of little consequence, pick something and move on. When it’s truly important, reflecting more or gathering additional information is probably a good idea.
- How often will that particular decision be made? If it will happen often — maybe it’s about pricing, inventory, or hiring — it may be worth developing a systematic approach. Doing so will take time now, but you’ll save time when the decision comes up again.
If you’re still struggling, give yourself a deadline, which can be a helpful way to constrain your process. (You may not have time to gather more data, for example.) Once you’ve made the decision, analyze the process you used so that you can improve it next time.
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