Buying online is so easy. Sometimes too easy? I have several unsatisfying books downloaded to my Kindle. Under a fiver, so not beating myself up, but it has piqued my curiosity about those late night purchases when the latest from an author I follow (miraculously!) shows up as a suggestion – one click and there it is.

What about bigger decisions though, especially the life changing ones. When is the best time to consider the potentially dazzling array of possibilities? The pre-frontal cortex is responsible for making decisions and – no surprise – functions optimally when we’re level-headed i.e. not stressed and in any kind of fight, flight, freeze mode. Decisions made under that kind of pressure are likely to be sub-optimal, as evidenced by random book purchases late at night. Scientific research suggests decisions are best made in the morning when we are likely most alert…..unless…. we happen to be night owls who tend to be more resourced to make decisions in the afternoon.

If you’re about to make a decision, big or small, do check out this thorough article from Inverse Daily, referencing the underlying research. I found something wanting in all these interesting articles – what about intuition? I dug a bit deeper and found this piece from Valerie van Mulukom, Research Associate in Psychology at Coventry University via The Conversation (one of my favourite resources). She unpacks intuition, concluding “it is: a fast, automatic, subconscious processing style that can provide us with very useful information that deliberate analysing can’t. We need to accept that intuitive and analytic thinking should occur together, and be weighed up against each other in difficult decision-making situations.”

Skip to content