Decisions, decisions, decisions…

So, you decided you need a new couch…excellent, now just run off to the store and choose from the hundreds of selections or, better yet, jump on the Internet and make a selection from thousands of choices. Isn’t it exhausting?  The choice of a new couch is actually one of the smaller decisions you may have to make this coming year…you may be set on hiring a new employee or looking to expand one of your product lines. Perhaps you need to shift your business focus or decide how to spend your marketing dollars. 


Did you ever ask yourself if options really are a good thing? Is there any way to minimize our choices? Studies have shown that when we have too many options, our happiness is actually affected. Borrow a page from some of the most successful people in business; Mark Zuckerberg is often seen wearing the same outfit. 


We have an endless supply of options, yet some of the most successful people limit their choices. Maybe Mr. Zuckerberg is onto something. Tomas Laurinavicius recently wrote an article titled, “How to Master Your Life with the Decision-Making Diet.” He notes that we are all suffering from mental fatigue due to the many decisions we must make each day.  While writing this article, my research turned up millions of articles on the notion of decision-making. So now the question becomes, how many articles should I read? How long should I spend on the Internet researching this blog post prior to sitting down to write? We are clearly suffering from information overload. So, what is the best possible decision to make going forward about our decision-making? Barry Schwartz stated it best in his TED Talk, “Adding options to people’s lives can’t help but increase the expectations people have about how good those options will be and what that’s going to produce is less satisfaction with results, even when they are good results.” His point is that our expectations have increased exponentially because we now have so many more choices, however that increase in choices has led to dissatisfaction because all we can think is that perhaps we made the wrong choice or perhaps if we had kept searching, we would have found a better choice. Did I mention exhausting? Okay, we need a plan, a ‘How to Make Decisions and Increase our Happiness in 2016 Plan’. I think we need to stick to our decisions and not look back. First order of business; minimize the clothing choices, stick to a small color palette, create a selection of ‘uniforms’, and make daily dressing a ‘grab and go’ experience. Okay, morning routine solved, now onto work life…how might we affect our workday? Perhaps, we decide how to structure each day and we don’t deviate from that structure. Or, we decide that twenty is the right number of sales calls to make each day and we actually make twenty calls each day. Maybe we decide that we will only check email at 8 am and 3 pm each day, allowing only one hour for response time. How many decisions do you think that you make in a day?  I am going to work on increasing my happiness by making a decision and then telling myself over and over again that it was an amazing choice. Want to join me?

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