Business Decisions: Should You Sleep on Them or Not?

In life, we generally make two types of decisions: INTUITIVE decisions and DATA DRIVEN decisions. Although they cater to different kinds of problems and the method varies, there tends to be an overlap.

Some make data driven or well-informed decisions for everyday choices, while others make intuitive decisions in critical situations—like in BUSINESS.

Why Do Owners & Founders Tend to Make Intuitive Business Decisions?

There are many reasons why business leaders make snap business decisions. But perhaps the most obvious one is their genuine understanding of their company’s overall vision and goals.

As the leaders of their organizations, founders only have the best interests of their businesses at heart. They’re also well aware that the race to success and market dominance is tight, leading many to feel like they have no time to waste.

Rather than take the time to weigh their options, they simply rely on intuition.

This approach to decision-making may cut down on precious time, which you could spend moving your business forward in other ways. But on the grand scale of things, is it actually practical and sustainable?

The Power of Sleep

When dealing with business challenges, I’m sure you’ve already been advised to “sleep on it” once or twice.

Holding off on making decisions until you’ve quite literally slept on them has been used by many people—but there’s a reason why this isn’t just a saying.

Decision-making is one of our highest cognitive abilities. It takes a lot of mental resources to weigh and evaluate all the factors and possible outcomes. So it follows that if our brains are well-rested, we’re able to make more sound decisions.

As a founder, it’s a must to keep your mind sharp and take care of your brain—and studies have long shown that sleep is one of the best ways you can do so.

But if it’s so wise to sleep on it, why don’t more business leaders do so?

Comfort or Discomfort?

According to a collaborative study led by University of Massachusetts professor, Rebecca Spencer, people who sleep on their dilemmas tend to be less happy with their choices because they are able to process and retain more information about their options.

Our intuition only processes surface-level information, which enables us to make decisions on the fly. But when we give it time and let our brains process the situation thoroughly, we are able to see past our initial biases and recognize the significant merits of our choices.

So applying this to business decisions, sleeping on your decisions is a much more mentally and emotionally taxing process.

Companies are generally compelled to waste no time in making moves, given how quickly the market shifts. And because of the uncertainty of many of their actions, business owners and founders may unconsciously seek some semblance of control and satisfaction with their decisions—something that intuitive decision-making gives them.

But while there’s nothing wrong with wanting to take the easier road, is it really worth the price of making uncalculated and ill-informed decisions?

What’s Practical Isn’t Always Pleasant

Growing a business is all about paying attention to detail—it’s the only way you can navigate the uncertainties and challenges that come with it. And whether you like it or not, it all starts with making smart, educated decisions.

Now, will the process be easy? Not really. But as a business owner, you should already know from the get-go that the journey comes with risks.

There are no shortcuts to success. And if you wish to thrive, you must be willing to embrace the discomfort of making decisions without a lot of data.

Sleeping on your business challenges might stress you out and make you feel like you’re wasting time, but, in the long run, it’s an efficient way to evaluate your options and consistently make better decisions.

Next time you have a big decision to make for your company. Have a glass of wine (no scientific proven benefit) and a good nights sleep and then make the decision.

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