In a new study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, a group of researchers surveyed 58 random people in a shopping mall. These researchers asked the participants to recall the decisions they had made that day. Then the researchers asked the participants to solve some simple math problems. They found that the more decisions a participants had made, the less likely they were to solve the problems.
There appears to be a price to making decisions – we become less productive as we make more decisions. And boy, do we have to make a lot of decisions today!
A six item grocery list
Picture yourself in a grocery store holding a list with six items – orange juice, bagels, Philadelphia cream cheese, Crest toothpaste, Coke, and lettuce.
In 1970, with that list you would have had a choice of 50 items. By 1998, you would need to filter through 250 different products just to get all the items on your list.
This comes from the spectacular book, Simplicity Marketing: End Brand Complexity, Clutter, and Confusion by Steven M. Cristol and Peter Sealey.
Think about it – that was 1998. Do you think it’s any better now?
3 bigg action items to simplify decision making
#1 – Make a list that’s specific.
So specific in fact, that you could send someone else and get exactly what you want. Studies show that people who shop with a list don’t buy as many impulse items so they tend to spend less money.
More importantly, it saves you time and mental fatigue as the studies showed.
#2 – Set a time limit when you’re making a major decision.
Before you begin doing research for a bigg decision, set a time limit. Once you’re satisfied with your findings or once you reach your time limit, make a decision.
As an example, we recently set up the web site for Bigg Studio, a sister company to Bigg Success, for audio production services. We needed to decide on the design for the site. There were an endless number of possibilities. We chose one that fit our criteria and moved on.
Here’s another tip that we love – get out your magic 8 ball. Ask it if you made the right decision. Look at its answer and see how you feel about it. This taps into your intuition about the decision which makes getting to the decision you’re most comfortable easier.
If you like this idea, here are a couple of links you might find helpful:
- Get Out Your Magic 8 Ball to Make Your Next Important Decision
This is one of our articles that explains why this works in more detail.
- Online Magic 8 Ball
Here’s the real thing right on your computer screen!
#3 – Become a partner in stress relief for the important people in your life.
Get to know the preferences of the people who depend on you, like your customers, your co-workers, your boss, and your significant other. Weed through all the options and present them with just a few.
The authors of Simplicity Marketing make the point that
So there’s a significant opportunity in the future for people and companies who are able to simplify things. This applies not just to your company brand, but also to your personal brand.
This is one of the things we try to do here at Bigg Success. We try hard to sort through all the information out there and deliver to you those few things we’ve found to be the most important.
(Image by burnin dog)