Types of Decision Making: How You Make Choices Matters

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Every single day of our lives, we make hundreds of decisions.

Because we do not agonize over each and every one, we might not always realize the number of decisions that we make daily.

Something as simple as brushing our teeth right after we get out of bed in the morning is one of the many types of decision making.

How is it that our decisions can go so unnoticed?

To genuinely recognize the full complexity of what making choices can bring into our lives, we must better understand the idea of making decisions.

Today, you’ll learn more about why you make the choices you do, how you can make more effective choices, and how you can access more info about these topics with the book-summary platform Blinkist.

Atomic Habits, a book about how habits affect your life, covers this subject in detail, as well.

You can find an Atomic Habits summary on Blinkist, too.

Why Decision Making Matters

Why is decision making so important to understand?

At one point or another, we are all guilty of making unconscious decisions every minute of the day and then agonizing over the decisions we have to make actively.

We often feel unqualified or unprepared to make a choice without realizing that choices are happening constantly.

When you become more actively aware of decision-making and what role it plays, you can become more comfortable with your life.

Your life is shaped by decisions. Some of those are strategic; others are coincidental.

If you know the difference between those two, you can take on a more active role in shaping your life.

To understand how you usually make decisions, you must first learn about the most common decision making types.

Types of Decision Making

There are four primary categories of decision making.

Everyone makes decisions in each of these categories, though the way someone decides things within that category may differ.

To be able to analyze your own choice technique, you should first understand the categories.

Routine Choices

Routine choices are when you simply pick what makes the most sense for you or from what is available.

For example, you may be able to choose from three different types of milk when at the store.

You can’t control what brand is available, but you can choose which one you want.

Your choice is going to be decided only by what is available, and you aren’t trying to outdo anyone else when making this decision.

You are simply making a routine choice or judgment about what you need or want at the moment.

Competitive Bets

Sometimes, competition makes its way into the decision-making process.

Your success is no longer being measured by your own needs but by how well you do in comparison to other people, as well.

For that reason, it is important to consider the actions of others as well as yourself.

While you are still acting on your own interest and your own desire to perform well, your decisions are also being influenced by the anticipation of what others will do.

For example, you might be competing in a running competition and need to judge which path will be most optimal compared to your opponents’ paths.

Influencing Outcomes

There are decisions where you have a high degree of influence on how things turn out.

For example, your boss might tell you to put together a presentation about a new product.

They may not give you any further instructions, so you have a lot of freedom in designing the outcome.

You can control a lot of projects, and thus the decisions that you make are going to have a large effect on the outcome.

Unlike routine choices, you have a high degree of control. For that reason, decisions in this category tend to be more stressful to make.

Strategic Decisions

Strategic decisions are based on both competitiveness and influence.

Not only do you have control over the outcome of a situation, but you can also actively ensure that you are doing better than others along the way.

Strategic choices are taking into account many factors, analyzing many possibilities, and exerting your influence throughout the entire process.

This type of decision-making is often used when managing others or when competing for a promotion at work.

types of decision making

The Power of Designing Your Own Decisions

Why is it so important to understand your own decision-making process?

Ultimately, every single decision that you make in your life is going to shape your life.

If you choose to roll out of bed, get on your computer, and spend all day there, that is going to affect your life.

If you choose to get up before the sun rises and go for a jog each morning, that will also affect your life.

Designing your decisions, and being aware of when you are making a decision by your own control rather than circumstance, gives you additional control over your life.

When you can actively control your decision-making process, you can actively shape your life.

Atomic Habits Summary

Atomic Habits by James Clear is a very interesting book about how habits are more of a decision that we give them credit for.

Essentially, Clear talks about the way that we make choices, which sets us up to either continue or break certain habits.

By making tiny choices in life, you can accumulate a long list of changes over time. And each habit that we choose to create can have an atomic effect.

Through this book, Clear explains the ways that we can make alternative choices in daily life that will lead to us breaking bad habits.

It also gets us thinking if we want to keep neutral habits or cultivate healthy habits that will lead us to success instead.

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Learn More On Blinkist

Are you curious about what James Clear has to offer, but you don’t have the time to read Atomic Habits right now?

Many people are overwhelmed by the prospect of finding time to read, and that’s okay!

An Atomic Habits summary is available on Blinkist.

On Blinkist, you can easily read the key points of the book in a short summary that takes less than 15 minutes to consume.

From there, you can begin changing your life!

Deciding Carefully

People take many of the decisions that they make each day for granted.

They don’t think about how each one leads to a bigger decision or what that picture might look like on a larger scale.

By understanding more about types of decision making and where your decisions are impacting your life, you can change things for the better.

Awareness is key in the decision process; are you sure you are aware of your own choices?

Growing your awareness about the choices that you are making is a sure-fire way to begin actively shaping your own life.

You can start doing this at any time; all you need to do is make choices with care, focus, and attentiveness.

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