Limited Choice is Good

My wife and I were looking for something on Netflix and found ourselves repeating the scroll a couple of times. Finally, the screen changed, and the graphic offered us a choice. It said, “just play something?”

Yes, please. Just play something, so I can put the remote control down and get back to petting my dog. Thinking back on the moment, I was reminded of a book I read a long time ago.

In 2005, Barry Schwartz wrote Paradox of Choice. It challenged the traditional thinking that said the way to maximum freedom is to maximize choice.  

It may feel good, but too many choices lead to decision fatigue.

Yes, too many choices are not necessarily a good thing, and they can create paralysis. Not to mention, no matter what you choose, you’ll always wonder if you could have done better.

Here’s my advice to you:

1) Limit your choices. Having every option won’t serve you. Narrow your list to things that truly get your attention. 

2) If you find yourself confused, permit yourself to try other options.

3) If in doubt, choose to spend your time and attention on what you know gives you the results you want.  

There will always be too many choices in our modern life, but that doesn’t mean you need to accept what is offered.

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