Making choices unleashes creativity. But what if you have difficulty making decisions? For some of us, decision making is painful and stressful. We make it very complicated. We spend ridiculous amounts of time and energy researching options. We find ourselves paralyzed -- terrified of making mistakes -- of picking the wrong thing.

Indecision can be costly and stressful. For example, this week I needed to order some glass fusing supplies. I took an embarrassing amount of time looking at all the hundreds of options online. Time that would have been more wisely spent doing more productive, more creative activities. I also ended up spending twice as much money as much as I really needed to because if I found myself agonizing between A and B, I ended up buying both A and B...even though I know that either A or B would have been sufficient.

This is also why I cannot walk into a bead shop without walking out $200 poorer.

Indecision can also manifest as stress. This past weekend, for example, I had to prune some fruit trees. I'm a novice at this and I don't yet have a good sense of pruning principles. My husband did his best to educate me but I really didn't grasp a lot of his pointers. I found myself staring at branches unable to decide what I should trim and what I should leave. My head hurt. My stomach ached. I was terrified of cutting off the wrong bits. In the end, I did a shoddy job, leaving every tree half pruned -- and leaving my spouse to finish what I apparently could not -- which was completely unfair and unkind. Another point: indecision hurts others.

So what's an indecisive DaVinci to do? Here are some decision making techniques that are proven ways to overcome indecision:

1. Set time limits on decision making.

This includes research. When you have decisions to make, set a time limit and do the best you can in the time you've allotted. A timer is an effective tool to overcome indecision.

2. Aim for 'good enough' rather than perfect.

Rather than striving for a 'perfect' decision -- which is pretty much impossible, anyway -- try to make a decision that is 'okay' or 'sufficient' or 'good enough'.

3. Look at the big picture.

Frame your decision in terms of the grand scheme of things. Ten years from now, will I look back and regret which glass supplies I am ordering today? Will I even remember this particular purchase? In terms of what's important in my life today, does it matter if I trim off a few 'wrong' branches on a fruit tree? Is it a matter of life or death? When you put your indecision in perspective, it is much easier to overcome it.

4. Consider the consequences.

If you are deciding between A & B, quickly write down the possible consequences of each choice. For each, pick the best and worst consequences and ask yourself, "Okay, if this happens, how significant is that?" If there is a major negative impact of a decision, then clearly you would do better to choose the other option. Similarly, if there is a major benefit to Option A over Option B, then you'd pick Option A. If there is little significance to the various outcomes, then it really doesn't matter what you decide, does it? Either choice is fine.

5. Rate your choices.

Here's a mathematical way to overcome indecision: Assuming you are dealing with equal choices, ask yourself, “Between one and ten, which would do me the most good: A or B?” Then quickly — almost without thinking — rate each option. Whichever one gets a higher number is the option you choose.

6. Let fate make the decision for you.

If there is little significance to the outcomes of your choices -- or little difference between these consequences -- and you still can't decide, then leave it up to fate. Write each option on a separate piece of paper. Fold the papers up and mix them up. Pick a piece of paper. That's your decision.

7. Follow your gut.

We're smart, creative people. It's pretty easy to over-think our options. Avoid excessive analysis by following your gut instinct instead. Forget what your head says, which choice feels better? Take a moment and pretend you select Option A. How does that feel? Now, imagine that you've decided on Option B. How does that feel -- better or worse? Choose whichever decision feels best.

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Activity: What's a decision you've been deferring?

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Activity: How important is this decision? To what extent is it a matter or life and death?

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Ten years from now, to what extent will this decision matter?

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Activity: Quickly write down the possible consequences of each choice.

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For each, pick the best and worst consequences and ask yourself, "Okay, if this happens, how significant is that?"

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If there is a major negative impact of a decision, then clearly you would do better to choose the other option. Similarly, if there is a major benefit to Option A over Option B, then you'd pick Option A. If there is little significance to the various outcomes, then it really doesn't matter what you decide, does it? Either choice is fine.

Activity: Ask yourself, “Between one and ten, which would do me the most good: A or B?” Then quickly — almost without thinking — rate each option. Whichever one gets a higher number is the option you choose.

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Activity: Take a moment and pretend you select Option A. How does that feel?

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Now, imagine that you've decided on Option B. How does that feel -- better or worse?

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Choose whichever decision feels best.

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What about you? In the comments section below, please describe what has helped you overcome indecision.

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Want to re-publish this article? Go for it – just include the author’s name (Liisa Kyle, Ph.D.) and the following text blurb:

Are you struggling with too many talents, skills, ideas? You may have The DaVinci Dilemma™! Find tools, fun quizzes, coaching, inspiration and solutions for multi-talented people at http://www.davincidilemma.com/ .

Author's Bio: 

Liisa Kyle, Ph.D. is the go-to coach for smart, creative people who want to overcome challenges, get organized, get things done and get more out of life (www.CoachingForCreativePeople.com).

Liisa Kyle is also an internationally published writer/editor/photographer as well as author of books including "YOU CAN GET IT DONE: Choose What to Do, Plan, Start, Stay on Track, Overcome Obstacles, and Finish" (http://bit.ly/YouCanGetItDone). If you are a creative person with too many ideas and too much to do, check out her other helpful articles here: www.DavinciDilemma.com