Over at the Heath Brothers’ site, they have lots of little posts about making better decisions. I signed up for the newsletter at some point and they sent me one entitled “Six Simple Questions That Yield Better Decisions”.
I quite like the list, partly as it is about thinking your way out of a box that you might have put yourself in earlier without realizing it. We all have shortcuts in our thinking processes, and the six questions they suggest are designed to help you avoid “lazy thinking”:
1. Imagine that the option you’re currently leaning toward simply vanished as a feasible alternative. What else could you do?
2. Imagine that the alternative you are currently considering will actually turn out to be a terrible decision. Where could you go looking for the proof of that right now?
3. How can you dip a toe in the decision without diving in headfirst?
4. [For personal decisions] What would you tell your best friend to do, if he/she was in the same situation?
5. [For professional decisions] If you were replaced tomorrow, what would your successor do about your dilemma?
6. Six months from now, what evidence would make you retreat from this decision? What would make you double-down?
All of them are apparently developed in more detail in their book called Decisive, and I might see if I can pick it up. I certainly liked the list they forwarded.