“My decision-making skills closely resemble that of a squirrel crossing the street!” – Unknown
How do you make a decision? From the second you wake everyday you’re faced with making one decision after the next. It’s no wonder that by 1 p.m. our decision-making capabilities may be spent. For years I struggled with that exact predicament. (I discovered last week while babysitting my 3-year-old niece and 8-month-old nephew that the needs of sweet little ones make decision-making even more challenging! Now I know why for years I didn’t have the bandwidth to do much more than just get through the day! Lol. As my youngest is now in school all day I can’t use that as an excuse!)
With each new year I find I always have a goal to be more productive and a desire to improve my decision-making skills. They obviously go hand-in-hand. People who tend to be productive make decisions quickly and move forward. They don’t stall. (They can actually pick out a new coffee table – my current project – without researching and browsing countless ones for weeks on end!) But I do recognize that this process is easier said than done. (Think about that ‘thing’ you’ve been wanting to do / get / make but just haven’t moved forward.) The challenge we face in our world of the inter-webs is that we’re often given too many choices and then it’s so easy to fall down the rabbit hole of unlimited options.
So in an effort to minimize decision-fatigue and maximize productivity here are my findings:
1. Incorporate routine into your everyday. By doing so you’ll decrease your chance of dealing with decision-fatigue. By implementing a daily routine – eat the same thing for breakfast or lunch (shameless plug – our Bliss salads are a great option!), exercise first thing etc. you’ve created the habit so you don’t need your brain to make a decision – you’ve already done so. That simple act can free up some vital mental space for you to then use on bigger decisions that really matter.
2. Limit your options. The book The Paradox of Choice suggests that too many options are just as bad as not enough: we’re happier and more productive when we consider fewer possibilities. This one concept has hit home lately. (I’m finishing off a rec room in our basement and the options re. layout – furniture – carpet, etc. have all taken their toll on my sanity! Lol.)
3. Get a well-informed opinion. This suggestion is an extension of #2. Search out a professional opinion (if possible) and ask for their top 1 or 2 resource recommendations, then do your research and leave the multiple other options behind.
4. Consider the pros and cons. If the pros outnumber the cons (and you can live with the potential con scenario) then the decision you face is simplified – making your decision easier.
5. Stop seeking perfection. We all know nothing is perfect. So if you’re waiting to make a decision for the item, situation, or timing to be just perfect then make the call now and free up some mental space to move on to your next thing.
I’m encouraged to power-through this month and hopefully save myself some mental anguish by following the above suggestions. (Do you have any idea how many shades of white wall paint exist!? Crazy!) Here’s hoping 2018 is your year! Thanks so much for your business. Wishing you a month of bliss!
– Jennifer (& Mark) McNamara, Bliss & Vinegar Owners