• Anna Conrad

Making Tough (and Good) Decisions During Stressful Times




During times of heightened uncertainty, your normal decision-making processes can break down. Some people become paralyzed, while others make quick decisions based on emotions or bias rather than facts.


You can make careful, reasoned decisions by taking a strategic pause to stop and assess the information and determine what you're missing.

  1. Identify the kind of data you’re working with, and be honest about the biases that might accompany it. For example, some data captures our attention because it's surprising, and we might give other data too much weight because it's new.

  2. Identify which information matters most to the decision you need to make. There is an endless number of "known unknowns." Not only is exploring them all impossible, but it won't help. Instead, ask yourself: What do I genuinely need to know to move forward?

  3. Prepare questions that will help you get answers. To bring both distance and numerous perspectives to the interpretation of the data, organize questions into four categories: opinion, behavior, feeling, and knowledge.


Following these practices will help you better tackle your emotional reactions and make more reasonable decisions in the face of stress and uncertainty.

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