Close-up of tired young woman rubbing nose

With great power comes great responsibility… to make important decisions under pressure. These professional or personal decisions that arise in pressured situations can cause stress in one’s life. This pressure comes from a lack of time, emotional duress or any other influence. Yet, how you rise to the occasion and make the best decision is a true testament of your ability to stay cool, calm and collected. Implement these tips for making decisions under pressure:


Weigh Your Options

First things first, stop and take a deep breath. Slowing down your heart rate will allow you to focus and begin to respond to the situation instead of reacting to the situation. Now, look at the problem from every angle to allow yourself to make an educated decision that you are confident in. Weighing your options helps you to make a realistic decision about deadlines and outcomes. You aren’t overpromising and setting yourself up for failure.


Remove the “Bad Decision” Mindset

When put under pressure, people are consistently terrified of making the “wrong” decision. In your mind, you run through every possible scenario of things going wrong at a hundred miles per hour. Unfortunately, this fear of making the wrong decision can cloud your judgement and adds even more pressure than you already might be under. To remove this mindset, focus only on the relevant information and put the rest aside. This allows you to not become overwhelmed when making a decision on the spot. Simply ask yourself “Is this critical now?”” and move forward based on your answer.


Talk Through the Decision

When making a tough decision, it never hurts to talk through your decision aloud. The act of talking through your decision process to someone else often helps to clarify your choices, build reassurance in your decision, and gain another person’s perspective. It also helps you to consider how your personal values or the values of your company match up with your decision.


Stay Calm

It’s easier said than done, but try to not let the stress get the best of you. Getting flustered is not going to help the situation. When facing a difficult decision, it’s easy to feel stressed and anxious. This feeling of immense pressure can lead you to make rushed decisions and then later having second thoughts. You can control your emotions by taking deep breaths and remembering that you will make the best decision with all the considering factors.


“Making good decisions is a critical skill at every level.” — Peter Drucker. How do you stay calm when making decisions under pressure? Share your methods in the comments below!


By: Rebecca Bordner