Did you know that some of the most financially successful people like to dress the same way every day at work? They have a dozen or so of the same outfit just so they don’t have to make choices on what to wear early in the day. They reserve their decision making to the more important decisions of the day.
Have you tried to order something and you’re just overwhelmed by the plethora of colors, hues, textures, sizes, price and other factors that you ended up not buying at all? I guess I’m not the only one.
Do you have cable TV? Did you notice there are hundreds of channels yet nothing worth watching most of the time? You end up with half a dozen or so favorite channels and ignore the rest.
How do we simplify our lives to have clearer choices?
If I have to have to make a decision about purchasing something major (my wife jokes that anything over a dollar is major to me), I sometimes bring out a spreadsheet and calculate which decision is most efficient and effective at the same time. I make sure that my desire is still accomplished but they have to go through a complex algorithm of yes and no answers.
I also like to do mind maps sometime. I don’t use software to do mind maps but a pencil and paper. Sometimes a super thin writing inkpen. I try to consider all the factors and make my decision from there.
If faced with so many choices, I usually pick the best three. Then from there I write the pros and cons of each, plus any cost involved in each choice. After looking at it several times, I finally make a decision.
I find that by doing enough research and sound decision making, I seldom make the wrong choice. That’s very liberating. It eliminates waste or any obstacles to forward progress. I can do more because I don’t have mistakes to fix.
One way to make clearer choices is to eliminate the unnecessary. Do you have too many peach colored shirts? Give some or sell a few of them. Do you have too much of something? Somebody else somewhere could use it – there’s no sense hoarding it “just in case”. By living with less, you already simplified your choices.
Another tactic is to buy only the items that you really really like. If you like a certain shirt, I’m sure you will always wear it. If you buy an unfamiliar color “just to be different”, it will be probably end up languishing in your closet. Pick the best choice and you’ll savor it more.
One last tip: Try to remember what worked for you in the past and don’t deviate. For example, I told myself never to buy a four door truck again because the truck bed area is seldom used and it is very ungainly to drive. I get tempted a few times a year but I always go back to my lessons learned.