Everyday, retailers make hundreds of small decisions regarding their business. They also have quite a few major decisions that may affect its health and longevity. Too many decisions over a long period of time can lead to decision fatigue, a potentially harmful condition. It’s where the saying, “I can’t think straight” comes from and is characterized by decision avoidance and reduced self-regulation. Every retailer needs to be aware of the mental stress their choices cause, especially when they get overwhelmed.
Seemingly innocent choices, such as ordering lunch, contribute to mental fatigue, so when a big decision comes along, it’s much more difficult to make the right choice. And making a mistake is easier than ever because of automation and technology. We may press the wrong button or misread something, causing delays and more stress. That’s why it’s so important to have the right preparation and energy to tackle big issues and stay away from bad business decisions.
Make It a Process
To be a successful decision maker, you’ll need to create the right environment. This requires a process, something to keep you on track when you’re tired and prone to mistakes. The following six steps will help you make it a process and move you away from relying on instinct.
1. Take the Time to Think
There is no excuse valid enough to keep you from taking time to think about your business’ needs. This allows you to write or revise your to-do lists. It also gives you the time to take a look at the calendar and see what’s over the horizon. Plus, giving yourself the time to think can make you more productive, because you’ll make fewer mistakes.
Giving a higher priority to some tasks over others encourages a sense of urgency. Some tasks can be stretched out over time, while others require immediate attention. If you know your priorities for the day, then you’ll be able to proceed as planned and not stop to make another decision.
3. Begin with Difficult Decisions
Start with the most difficult, the most complex, so you can avoid costly mistakes from fatigue. These cause the most stress and need more attention than the others. How can you expect to make the right decision at the end of the day? Having the energy to make the right decision is as important as be informed enough to make it.
To base your decisions on facts, you need to perform some research. This includes historical market and sales information. And remember that bigger decisions require more research, so give yourself some time to analyze the data to make the right decision.
Sometimes, you’ll need to change direction or change your decision. Giving up can set you back and cause major delays. To set yourself up for success, be persistent and follow through with your decisions to the end.
Feedback provides a window into how others think about your decisions and offers a different point of view. It’s also a form of collaboration, which is a great way to be inclusive while taking input on the decisions you made.
Some Things to Be Aware of
There are many pitfalls in this process that you should be aware of. First, know when you’re avoiding important decisions, because waiting too long may have financial repercussions. Another pitfall happens when you rely on others who may delay a decision. Finally, don’t get caught up in your success. What worked in the past may not work in the future, so try to stay on top of your decision-making process to make the right decisions.
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