What shirt do I wear? What type of coffee to have this morning? What should I have for lunch? Should I buy those shoes? What movie shall we watch? Do I really need to eat that other slice of cake? We make decisions everyday, much of which we are unaware of because they seem so insignificant [except the slice of cake, that’s important]. In design studio we are faced with hundreds of decisions, so do you ever find yourself unable to make decisions?

I tend to struggle when making decisions, which in turn delays progress and I end up pulling all-nighters to make up for lost time. In a project there are hundreds of solutions for the one problem, and that’s why if you have 150 students doing the same project, you get 150 different designs. Throughout the project we are faced with problems that need solving, some are important such as siting, layout, massing and material, some aren’t as important.

What should you do if you can’t make a decision about the layout of the project or the elevation treatment? Here are some tips…..

Make a pros/cons list | I love making pros and cons list when faced to make a decision. It was a pros and cons list that led me to come straight to university after TAFE, to go to Deakin, and what to do in my studio projects. Just weighs up the pros for each option you have in mind, and the cons, and then start to break it down.

Sketch | may seem odd but sketching will help with making a decision. For Design 3A I was struggling to decide upon a facade, I spent 4hrs on Revit testing two options. Realising there are hundreds I pulled out some yellow trace and spent 30 minutes sketching a dozen possibilities and in the act of sketching I found my ideal facade and was able to make a decision.

Just relax, and don’t stress | when we are faced with multiple decisions to make, it can get overwhelming, and can lead to stress. The best thing to do is to relax, take some deep breaths, go for a walk, do yoga, read a book, whatever it is you do to de-stress you may need to do it. When stressed you may become single-sighted [because you just want to make a decision instead of the best decision] and a week later those bad decisions come crawling back.

Stick with it | if you make a decision, stick by it! I have a horrible habit of making a decisions and if I’m not 150% for it, a couple days later I’ll revisit it and start again.

Talk about it to someone | whether it’s a fellow classmate, your parents or a tutor, when faced with some difficult decisions for a project grab someone and just talk about it, out loud. Most of the time, they will end up just being a soundboard and through hearing yourself and discussing it, you will be able to make that decision.

Do you have any more tips on making decisions? If so, leave them in the comments section below!