Stop the Indecision: How to Eliminate Bad Habits that Cloud Your Thinking 

By Luda Kopeikina

You know how you feel when you have a “light bulb” moment—when suddenly the solution to a problem becomes crystal clear. What if those were regular occurrences instead of elusive moments?

Many business leaders agonize over decisions. Big or small, we replay all the possible solutions to a problem over and over in our mind. We get so wrapped up in the problem that our brain often gets “stuck” and we can’t move forward. Sometimes the decision is easy, like which restaurant to take a client to, while other times the decision is much more difficult, such as whether to take a job transfer. Yet, when your mind is foggy and unfocused, even simple decisions can seem impossible.

Why are some of these seemingly “easy” decisions so hard to make? It’s not the decision itself, but rather the state your mind and body are in when you are faced with making one. You need to be relaxed, balanced, and focused to be able to easily make the right decisions every time. Additionally, we often engage in daily habits that make reaching clarity and a good decisions near impossible.

When you’re in this proper mental state, all the facets of your mind and body come together in the right balance. You can think positively and clearly and reach a quick conclusion. You’re able to overcome any habits that hinder your decision making process. How? By being:

  • Physically relaxed;

  • Emotionally positive, happy, and released from fear and anxiety;

  • Charged with power, success, self-confidence, and energy;

  • Totally in the present;

  • Mentally focused on the task at hand.

This is called being in a “Clarity State.” How often are you in the Clarity State? With the stress of everyday life and the many demands you have on your time, falling out of balance is easy. Add in the deadlines that usually accompany decisions, and the pressure to perform makes achieving your Clarity State even tougher. Learning methods of reaching the Clarity State when you need it the most is the critical step to stopping indecision and making better decisions.

In addition, watch for these three bad habits that can quickly sabotage your clarity and your decision making skills.  

Bad Habit Number One: Multi-Tasking: In most business positions, multi-tasking is considered an essential skill. The problem with multi-tasking is that you never completely focus on anything. If you’ve ever tried to conduct a phone call and read an email at the same time, you know you will either miss comprehending parts of the conversation or parts of the email. You can’t fully concentrate on two things at once. Something suffers.

Instead of multi-tasking, whenever possible, try doing consecutive tasks. Concentrate fully on one item before moving onto the next. Set a timer if you need to. By concentrating solely on one item, you will be able to get through your to-do list more quickly than if your attention is scattered. And the less scattered you are throughout the day, the better you’ll be at reaching clarity and making decisions.

Bad Habit Number Two: Being Competitive with Others: Compete only with yourself. Push yourself to excel at your job, learn new skills, and develop new talents. The sky is the limit with what you can achieve. However, don’t compete against others. You have no control over how smart or ambitious or connected someone else is, so don’t waste your energy focusing on it. If you do, you will add unnecessary stress to your life and function at less than optimal capacity.

For example, if you have your eye on a promotion, don’t focus on “winning” a promotion over your co-worker; instead, concentrate on becoming an ideal candidate for the job. Find out what skills and leadership qualities are necessary to excel in that position and learn them. Do your research, brush up on your knowledge, and invest your time in self-improvement—not worrying about your competition. You can’t control who gets the job, but you can make yourself a strong candidate. Even if you don’t “win” the position, you’ve learned some marketable skills.

By leaving competition out of the picture, you perform at your best. Additionally, you remove stress from your life and make the clarity state more attainable.

Bad Habit Number Three: Working Constantly: Through technology, we are better connected to our jobs now than ever before. This is both a blessing and a curse. Our work is with us all the time. Cell phones, pagers and laptops make it all too easy to work when we shouldn’t be. You need to save some mental, physical, and emotional resources to regenerate, think, and strategize for the future. A workaholic tendency prevents us from taking time to contemplate, focus our minds on critical issues, and use our full brain capacity to develop creative solutions. Our mind never gets a rest.

We need to change this “working all the time” trend today. Make yourself unavailable as often as you can. Resist the urge to “just check email” five times a day when you’re on vacation. Let your phone calls go into voice mail. Stepping away from work will do wonders for your energy level and concentration. You’ll quickly find that a relaxed mind makes better and quicker decisions every time.

Eliminating Indecision: Clarity State is the state of coherence required for improved cognitive performance and good decision making. Start learning methods to attain the Clarity State, and beware of the bad habits that could sabotage your efforts. Concentrate on one task at a time, compete only against yourself, and take time off work to recharge and refresh your mental battery. When you consistently achieve your Clarity State, you will be able to make decisions much more quickly and with much less stress. Now, your light bulb moments will become common occurrences.

Read other articles and learn more about Luda Kopeikina.

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