So in the dissertation process, there will come a time (or many) where you have several options to consider and you need to make a decision for one of them.

You might see this when you’ve come to a choicepoint in writing a chapter- ‘should I go this way? or that?’- or you might find yourself needing to decide this during the research design – or during the analysis phase. Or all of the above.

The challenge when having too many choices is that it becomes more difficult to make a decision. Every option seems as good as every other, and it’s easy to get paralyzed, feeling that everything hinges on making the absolutely just right, *perfect* choice.

The problem with this approach, of course, is that there are very few just right, *perfect* choices- because, if there were, these would clearly stand out and be easy to choose. Trickier than this are those choices which have pros and cons- and this comprises most of the decisions you’ll need to make in the dissertation process.

So how do you decide? I use a couple methods. First, I make a simple pros/cons list for the ideas I’m considering. This sometimes help clarify what is the best choice.

If that doesn’t work, I might talk out my choices with a trusted friend or colleague (based on the topic I’m seeking clarity on.) But ultimately the decision is mine. So what do I do then?

The same thing I’d suggest you do- just pick something. When you are trying to decide between two equally good options, the best way to decide for certain is to pick something and act on it. So choose one pathway and follow it. You’ll either be able to keep going and it will work out, or you’ll know very quickly that you need to go another way.

Don’t lose a lot of time in trying to choose the best decision- just make one, take action, and let the best decision choose itself.