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Time Management Fortress: How to fill the gaps in your decision making
December 19, 2005


Building a stronger foundation for your success, one skill at a time

December 19, 2005

From Sergey Dudiy, Ph.D., at

Dear valued subscriber:

Here is my new article that I believe you could find helpful.

How to fill the gaps in your decision making

How do you typically make a non-trivial decision?

Ideally, you may want to take time to do your homework and follow a systematic rational approach to analyze all pros and cons. In practice, you still face many grey areas where logical thinking by itself does not bring you to one robust conclusion.

Maybe you have too many gaps or conflicts in your data. Your criteria for analysis are hard to articulate unambiguously. Your environment is very dynamic and the decision making context is changing on the fly. What do you do then?

You probably turn to your gut feeling, also known as your intuition or inner voice. When it comes to ambiguous complexities and poorly structured problems, your decision making effectiveness is largely determined by your ability to use your intuition.

In contrast to logical-thinking process, which occurs mostly in your conscious mind, your intuition works at the subconscious level. The intuition grasps your decision making situation as a whole, digesting different pieces of information in parallel. It somehow connects the inner pattern of your new situation with various subconscious pieces of your previous experiences. Then one moment you will receive the conclusion of that inner work as an intuitive message, a message communicated in the language of your subtler feelings.

Intuition is an indispensable tool in business decision-making, but there are certain traps you can fall into if you are not careful.

One trap is using intuitive approach as an excuse not to do your homework. Did you ingest all the key facts? At least those that you can get and check in cost- and time-effective ways. While intuition will help you work around many gaps and ambiguities, even your inner voice can be misled if too many of your facts are wrong or missing.

To effectively collect and organize all the relevant data, try to start with a systematic analysis in writing. As much as you can, capture on paper the ideas on the main options and the criteria for evaluating your choices. Write down the key facts and factors you need to keep in mind.

Another dangerous trap is confusing your inner voice with the background noise of your current emotional state. Whenever you need to make an important decision, pay particular attention to your overall mood.

If you are stressed or in a bad mood, your true inner voice will be distorted or lost in the background of your strong negative feelings. A similar effect may happen with strong positive feelings. Are you also carrying a baggage of suppressed feelings that bias your perceptions?

If you want to hear your inner voice, get over the background of your strong feelings. Feel them through or let them go. Unload your mind. Take a walk. Forgive and accept. Talk it out to a good friend. Say your prayers. Do something refreshing. Whatever works for you.

Finally, the reliability and effectiveness of your intuition also depends on how much you let it develop. The more experiences you go through and the more you pay attention to the messages of your inner voice in each case, the more training your intuition gets, the wiser you become.

I wish you all the best for the coming holidays.

Sergey Dudiy, Ph.D.

Here are some of the new pages recently added to

Use a decision tree to systematically arrive at your smartest choice
Decision trees are particularly useful for working through complex multistage decisions. They also give a systematic way to incorporate the uncertainty introduced by uncontrollable events.

The power of intuition in decision making
Intuition can greatly enhance the effectiveness of your decision making, especially when it complements rational analysis. Get a better idea of where intuition fits best and how to use it properly.

Mind mapping techniques to help your intuition to process information
Mind mapping techniques will allow you to digest information much faster and better when traditional note taking or think-on-paper approaches. Mind maps as a more effective way to use your brain.

Success driving motivational posters
Keep your vision of success in your sight with specially selected motivational posters and artworks.

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