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  • Angela Hummel

Bubblegum Decisions

Updated: Aug 3, 2019

Creative ways to combat decision fatigue.



As a little girl, I would frequently go grocery shopping with my mom, and she would always give my brother and me some spare change to select something from the gumball machines at the front of the store. It might have been only a nickel back then, but the excitement of choosing from the assortment still sticks in my mind. I would stare in wonder at the choices. That is when decision making was fun!


Oh, how times have changed! Today, decision making in my professional and personal life is not as wondrous and the consequences are much greater than choosing a bubble gum flavor or perhaps a prize. Have you ever been faced with a decision that weighs on your mind and affects your happiness? Sometimes decisions are so challenging that they keep us awake at night, tossing and turning and considering options.


While it is not possible for many of us to go back to bubblegum decisions, we can still apply some creative and helpful ways to help us decide."

There are many methods to making decisions, which are much more scientific than my suggestions that follow. So, please follow any method you like, but if you are stuck or suffering from decision fatigue you might want to try the following:


Collaborate. Throw the idea out to your team. Getting feedback early in the process prevents changes after the decision is made. Leaders are often very driven individuals and quick to solve problems. Having feedback from your trusted and valued team members helps them to feel involved by giving feedback and being part of the process. And you, as the leader, get varying opinions.


Pilot the idea. Making a decision does not have to be set in stone. You can change directions later. Consider starting with a small group, try the change, and see how it goes. Move to implementation or go back to the former way after a trial and evaluation of the results. It is sometimes easier to get buy in for a change when you start small and celebrate wins along the way.


Go with your gut. There is not always a clear answer. Sometimes you are choosing between two right or very good solutions. While some leaders struggle to find the perfect decision, clarity is not always possible. Do your best with the information you have and, if you are like me, you have a strong feeling or intuition that can sometimes help you decide.


Take time, if possible. Thinking about a decision is wise, particularly if you feel pressured or challenged. Under stress or in conflict, our best selves and use of the highest functioning parts of our brain that are needed to solve problems and make complex decisions do not always work on our behalf. Step away, if you have time, and make a more mindful decision later.


While it is not possible for many of us to go back to bubblegum decisions, we can still apply some creative and helpful ways to help us decide.


While it is not possible for many of us to go back to bubblegum decisions, we can still apply some creative and helpful ways to help us decide."

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© 2020 Angela Hummel Consulting LLC

Pennsylvania, USA

angela@angelahummel.com

570-473-3757

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