let go

Embrace the Power of Choice

 let go

With our brand new challenge starting this week, 21 Days To Simplify your Life, there’s no better time to talk about the power of choice. Making a fast decision, feeling confident with it, let it go and move on.

Each day we make a million decisions. Tiny, insignificant ones that barely register to more detailed, thoughtful decisions.

Decisions made very quickly can be every bit as good as decisions made cautiously and deliberately.”  Malcolm Gladwell, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

For most of us, making a decision doesn’t need extensive research. Simply, Jane might look out the window and see grey clouds looming. She decides to take an umbrella with her before she leaves. Brenda, however, might look out the window and see grey clouds looming. She logs on to the the weather channel to check the forecast and listens to the latest news bulletin before deciding whether to take an umbrella with her.

These two type of decision makers are classified as Satisfiers or Maximizers. In the 1950’s, Nobel Peace Prize Winning Economist, Herbert Simon, termed these two phrases to identify how people coped with choice. In essence, these terms can be illustrated with the following purchase scenarios:

Satisfiers – in the need to buy a shirt, a satisfier will determine what size, colour and price they wish the wish to transct on with purchase. They get to the shop, the find a good fit, in the colour they want and the prince range they’re happy with. They make a purchase. 

Maximizers – in the need to buy a shirt, a maximiser will also determine what size, colour & price they wish to tranact with on purchase. They get to the shop, they find a shirt that meets their crtieria. They hide that shirt in a pile or rack nearby (for safe-keeping), and go in pursuit of another store offering a similar product to price check or quality check, to ensure they are getting value for money. 

Based on these two scenarios, who do you think had a happier, less stressful day?

Here are my best tips for helping you make quick decisions when decluttering*, that will help maintain calm and simplicity in your life:

  1. Time limit. Give yourself  2 minutes to make a decision: throw, keep, donate.
  2. Keep emotion out of it. Black and white. If you make a decision fast, it means you can now free your time to move on to something else.
  3. If it helps, do a quick mental pros and cons list. On your pro list, always include clutter-free advantages and logic. And refer to point #2.
  4. Don’t worry about making the wrong decision. Consider … what’s the worst that can happen, and is it such a big deal? OK, so you threw out the old blender because you hadn’t used it for years, but now you have a smoothie addiction. So what? Treat yourself to a new one. A smaller, more efficient blender! These are not life-changing decisions to get stuck on.
  5. Be happy! If you love the item you’re family wants you to donate or throw away, then keep it. Just remember, you can’t keep everything, so prioritize and don’t get caught up in clutter entrophy.

* This list is aimed at people who need a kick-start to take action and overcome overwhelm. Some big item decisions may need more thought. But realistically, it’s the small stuff that keeps us stuck in the clutter.

Which type of decision maker are you? Satisfier or Maximiser?


4 thoughts on “Embrace the Power of Choice

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