How do I stop stressing about decision making?

Monday, November 18th, 2013 By Jack Nevison

The job of a project manager is one that requires many decisions. Some are small, like whether to schedule an important meeting before or after lunch. Others are much more significant, like the hiring or firing of key employees.

Many managers know that when the pressure is on, it can be difficult to make these decisions without stressing out about them.

This is a feeling that Harvard Business Review contributor Ed Batista knows well. However, to combat it, he writes that he tries to remember some advice he learned from Sun Microsystems co-founder and CEO Scott McNealy.

"He was asked how he made decisions and responded by saying, in effect: It's important to make good decisions. But I spend much less time and energy worrying about 'making the right decision' and much more time and energy ensuring that any decision I make turns out right," Batista recalled.

This is an important point for all managers who are trying to stay productive. Even if it were always possible to figure out the best option—and it rarely is—it is not possible to succeed without working hard to support a choice. Managers need to commit to the decisions that they make. 

Think of it this way: There's nothing wrong with taking time to decide how to allocate next year's budget. But all that planning is for naught if managers don't take the time to make sure that the budget guidelines are adhered to.

New Leaf Project Management addresses the challenges of making decisions with two programs: "Complex Problems, Difficult Decisions" and "Managing Risk & Making Decisions."

In addition, our free white papers and our online estimating game, QPM, can help you improve your skills while you earn PDU credits for PMP recertification.

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