Step 7 - Stop wasting your time

Choose when to choose - Guestblog by Koen Devolder

Every day we face choices, a lot of choices: What to wear to work today, what to eat for dinner tonight, what shoes to buy, what movie to watch, what book to read, and the list goes on.

 

To manage the problem of excessive choice, Schwartz encourages us to decide which choices in our lives really matter and focus our time and energy there, letting many other opportunities pass us by.

 

This is one of the reasons why Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg wear the same outfit every day and why some people have a fixed morning routine. It leaves more time for the things that really matter in your life.

 

In the past few decades, the number of available choices rapidly increased. We face more choices and more decisions today than ever before. We can choose how we look. what we believe in, what we study, how we work, how we love and who we are.

Although choice improves the quality of our lives, Berry Schwartz demonstrates in his book, the Paradox of Choice - must-read - there is a cost to having an overload of choice.

As the number of choices keeps growing, negative aspects such as anxiety, stress and dissatisfaction begin to appear. These negative aspects, according to Professor Schwartz, can manifest itself in many ways.

 

An example would be the concept of buyer's remorse. We've all experienced it at one time or another. We bought something and then comes the sense of regret. Should I have gotten the more expensive one? The black one? The blue one? You leave a restaurant wishing you had ordered something else.

 

As the number of choices increases, it is easier to imagine alternatives that may have been better than the one you selected. The constant comparison to one's expectations induces regret, which reduces the satisfaction of any decision, even if it fills the individual's needs.

 

Berry Schwartz proposes ways to ease the burden of the overabundance of choice and, thereby, lessen the stress and dissatisfaction that comes with it. In his book, Barry Schwartz suggests 10 other practical and simple steps to deal with choice. These steps will help you to become less choosey and have a more rewarding life.

 

p.s:

In my own life, I've decided to limit the number of choices I make every day - I started with the number of meals I cook. I cook 10 recipes- not every week, but ever. I literally only know 10 recipes, and I gotten quite good preparing them over the years. Find your way of wasting less time, I've found mine.

 

- Koen Devolder

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