The Key to Dealing with Ambiguity When You’re Under Pressure

Posted on: April 18, 2021, by :
Photo by Sean Stratton on Unsplash

Your motivation and commitment support you through major, unplanned change. To focus, make sound decisions, and move forward toward your goals, you must make time for reflection and thinking. In doing so, you enable yourself to separate stress from decision-making.

There are activities that you do to ensure you make the best decisions possible and protecting time for quiet thoughtfulness is among them. As you feel pressured to make decisions, take care of yourself and your family, and navigate through change, your list of to-do’s grows, and you often eliminate any time you have set aside for yourself.

Examples of ways to protect your time that I recommend include: establishing boundaries, prioritizing, and using weekly goal setting to ensure you don’t overcommit yourself. It may feel selfish to protect time for thinking but if you want to make decisions effectively, time thinking can impact your ability to assess risk, prioritize, and make quality decisions.

Benefits of Making Time for Thoughtfulness

How many of you have found that you feel like you must choose between getting things done and having time to think? I know that I have. But the benefits of quiet thoughtfulness contribute to better decision-making.

Here are three key benefits of quiet thoughtfulness that impact your ability to deal with ambiguity.

You will be able to clearly articulate problems. During times of high stress, a sense of urgency to make decisions quickly is ever present. Deadlines are missed, workloads increase, and we feel pressure to make decisions even though we know we are unprepared. Quiet time gives us time to pause, eliminate distractions and emotion, and make decisions that factor in ambiguity. How we frame problems can be just as important as the steps we take to solve them.

You will be able to assess the likelihood of challenges occurring. One often overlooked aspect of decision-making involves assessing the probability of events happening. Quiet time offers the opportunity to consider information and determine the likelihood of events occurring given our circumstances and resources. Once we have determined the likelihood, we can consider the potential impact if the event were to occur.  

You will be able to remain focused on your goals. Time dedicated to thinking encourages us to consider the progress we are making toward our goals, and better understand what’s working and what’s not working. This gives us the opportunity to adjust the actions we take sooner rather than later, saving ourselves time and unnecessary stress. By periodically thinking about goals, we are essentially recommitting to them and helping ourselves stay inspired to work toward them.  

Do you struggle with dealing with ambiguity when you’re feeling pressured? Do you regularly make time for reflection and thinking? If not, what changes can you make to ensure you take advantage of this important activity?