Why More is Less
Do you often find that the more options you have, the less satisfied you are when you finally make a decision?
As a former consultant I spent a lot of my time as an analyst. Analysts can be at risk of suffering suffering from 'analysis paralysis', the idea that you spend so much time studying the data and related options you become paralysed in making a decision.
This applies equally to many things in our lives everday:
- What type of toothpaste should I use?
- Which book should I buy next?
- What exercises will help me achieve my goals?
- Should I rent or buy?
- Who should I spend my time with?
- What car should I purchase?
Our options are near-limitless, which has it's advantages. The downside is that these extra options often result in less decisions.
What we often need to do is make effective decisions that allow us to move forward rather than being paralysed in one place. In working my way through The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz, one particular thought struck me as particularly valuable; rather than striving for 'best' we should be content with 'good enough'.
For example: Is this car good enough to get me from A to B safely, even if it's not the best car on the market? By asking if something is good enough for our purposes, we start to limit our options and make actionable decisions.
The best thing? We actually have less buyer's remorse the less options we consider. So often it makes better sense to stick with the option we have already made rather than continuing to explore the alternatives.
If you would like to explore this concept further, I would recommend:
- The Paradox of Choice, by Barry Schwartz
- The Choice-Minimal Lifestyle: 6 formulas for more output and less overwhelm (an article by Tim Ferriss).
How could you benefit from deciding on an option that is 'good enough'?