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Make decisions like Spock

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The best way to make a decision is to shut off emotional triggers and become a Vulcan, like Mr. Spock, says Baba Shiv, a marketing professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

His tips for keeping your emotions in check, particularly during an economic downturn:

Avoid external triggers of emotion
such as television, which tends to have a strong influence.

Delegate the task of gathering
audiovisual information to someone else, and have that person provide the information to you in writing.

Identify a vetted set of options. But not too many, or you’ll freeze. Three to five options is ideal, says Shiv. Finally, set a deadline for the decision.

“Have all the options presented to you simultaneously rather than sequentially.” Why? With one option at a time, you’ll think that something better could be coming down the pike.

— Adapted from “Managing your emotions in a downturn,” Financial Times podcast.

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