In an age of too many options, four simple questions can provide a clear approach to making those frequent decisions in a way that saves us time.
We live in a time of unprecedented options. Those of us in developed economies of the 21st century, even with average incomes, have more choices than ever before in what we eat, what we wear, our jobs, where we live or travel, our entertainment and education… and the list goes on.
Our ability to customize the details of our lives is dazzling, but it is not free. Abundant options require abundant decisions, and decisions require energy. Life’s never-ending buffet brings byproducts: too many options can paralyze us, and fear of taking the wrong option can haunt us.
We can benefit from thinking about how we make decisions, and intentionally adopting practices that help us manage the cost of decision-making and feel more confident in the choices we do make.
Let’s examine a class of decision that we face every day: stay or go, fish or cut bait, keep on the same path or change direction. More specifically, we’ll consider people and companies we pay, whether at work or at home:
Do I like my accountant, or is it time to switch?
Should I change gyms?
Do we need a new marketing consultant?
Is our lawn care guy charging us too much?
There are both cost and benefit components to these questions. If your gym is nearby and your friends go there, it may be worth twice the price of a different gym with the same equipment because you’re more likely to go and use it. That’s an easy case. Other decisions aren’t so easy, and sometimes those questions of “Am I paying too much for this?” keep lingering in our mind without a clear answer.
Replacing Gray with Black and White