We’re at that time of year again when we sum up what we have or haven’t achieved over the past twelve months. Now is also the time for planning ahead, for making decisions that will cover what we do over the next twelve months. Should we renew that gym subscription? Should we invest time and energy in a new project, or simply carry on with the old one? I could go on.
We’ve all been there, but if you want to avoid waking up your best friend at three in the morning begging for advice, you could always try drawing a decision tree.
A decision tree isn’t literally a drawing of a tree. It’s more like a route map to help you come to a decision. It usually consists of three different elements:
ROOT NODE: this represents what you want to achieve.
BRANCHES: these represent the different options available to you when you’re making a decision. They are often represented by an arrow.
LEAF NODE: these are attached to the end of each branch and represent possible outcomes for each action or decision. To make things easier, leaf nodes come in two shapes: SQUARE means you need to make a further decision, CIRCLE indicates a possible consequence or outcome of a decision.
Decision trees simplify choices. The advantage of using this type of flow chart is that it helps you to map out different possibilities and decide which course of action is most likely to lead to the desired result. It will also help you to avoid making decisions that lead to unforeseen or unwanted results.