A Simple Hack that Makes Decision Making Easy

I don’t know about you, but I can be incredibly indecisive at times.

Whether it’s deciding what task to work on, whether to make that phone call, or even just choosing what to have for dinner, I find making decisions, without knowing all of the facts, challenging to say the least. 

This isn’t a great trait to have as a freelancer, and the problem is, the longer you spend on your decisions the more mental energy you drain during the day.

If you can’t make the decision it sits there in the back of your brain, taking up space. It leads to paralysis and procrastination.

So that’s why I’m sharing this simple, but incredibly helpful, decision-making hack with you. It’s really helped me deal with my indecisiveness, and I’m sure it will help you out too.

“Take the path more painful in the short term”

Naval Ravikant is a successful entrepreneur, investor, and founder of Angellist, Vast.com and Epinions. But the reason why he is so popular and respected in the online world is his wisdom on business and life in general.

So all the credit for the decision-making hack I’m about to share here goes to Naval Ravikant. It’s an idea that I’ve been testing out for a while and have found to be really useful. 

He offers a simple heuristic:

Simple decision making hack by Naval Ravikant:
If you're evenly split on a difficult decision, take the path more painful in the short term

This is a game-changer when it comes to decision making. And it’s already saving me hours of indecision and wasted energy. It’s a simple way to shortcut the debate and indecision.

What’s more, we always know deep down that the more challenging option is usually the one that we should be going for.

Why this decision-making hack works

There are a few reasons why Naval’s idea makes sense.

As humans, our default behaviours tend to be to take the easy options and preserve energy whenever we can. This harks back to our ancestral origins, where we needed to preserve energy and our food supply could be inconsistent.

Now most of us are lucky enough to live in a world of abundance, comfort and Deliveroo. We don’t need to preserve our energy anymore. Instead, we have to take active steps to actually push ourselves further whenever we can.

Just like if we don’t exercise we get unhealthy, if we never push and challenge ourselves we shrink deeper and deeper into our comfort zones.

This means we fail to expand our opportunities and miss out on growth and the countless possibilities that come along with that.

This is why making taking the harder decision your default option can be so powerful.

Not only does it save you the time and energy of making the decision. It also makes pushing yourself a little, your default option.

A little bit of discomfort is a powerful thing. Finding that discomfort, and building it into your life, is the fastest way to grow and develop your freelance business. 

So maybe you’re feeling tired and facing the decision as to whether to bother with that networking event you said you’d go to.

All of the sudden, you start coming up with all other things you’d rather do, trying to find a good excuse to justify taking the easy road.

But you know deep down that it’s the difficult option – getting up and going to the event – that is the one that’s more likely to help you to move towards your goals.

Using Naval’s little saying, you know really that the best thing to do is probably to go and push yourself to do it. 


If you like this article, you might like these as well:

How to Stay Consistent as a Freelancer
How to Say No as a Freelancer


Until next time,

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