Sometimes I feel like if I have to make one more decision, I will just explode. What do I make for dinner? Wear? Which DVD do we watch? Where should we go on holidays? There are just so many decisions to make every day.
We have been sold a lie that more choice is better, when in fact, too many choices just cloud our ability to make good choices. It is so easy to get overwhelmed by mundane and trivial decisions, and forget that in the bigger picture, which top I wear to work just doesn’t matter.
The problem then becomes that we are so over making decisions that when bigger, more important decisions come along, we don’t have the energy to make them or follow them through.
So limiting the amount of unimportant decisions we have to make, means that at those times when we have to make important decisions, we actually have the energy to do so.
So here are a couple of ways to help make the unimportant (but necessary) decisions a little bit easier:
Limit your choices
So one way to keep things simple is to look at the small unimportant decisions and limit them. For example we used to have lots of different breakfast cereals. Each morning the kids would take ages to choose what they wanted for breakfast, and then, inevitably, we wouldn’t have what they wanted. A few years back we decided to limit the choices. Now we have muesli, weetbix, or porridge – that’s it. We are happy with what ever choice they make.
Another way I limit my choices is when I am getting dressed for work. I need to wear professional clothing which is also safe to wear in a kitchen, and practical when cooking. I have created a sort of semi uniform with some basic suit pants, blouses and jumpers which all go together. That way when I get up I don’t need to spend heaps of time finding the right pants with the right tops, because they all go together.
Have a plan in advance
I find that when I am tired, making simple decisions is even harder. One way I try to make life easier is by having a plan to help guide my choices. For example we have chosen several charities we support, and have a blanket rule that we don’t support charities over the phone. That way when the cat appreciation society rings during the arsenic hour, I don’t have to think whether or not to support them, I just state politely that we don’t support charities over the phone and hang up.
Another way to do this is to have a menu plan. Even if you don’t write out an exact list of every meal for the week (or month) having a loose plan of what you will eat each night (eg. Monday = casserole, Tuesday = pasta, Wednesday = meat and veg etc) so that you have an idea about what to make for dinner, rather than staring blankly at the fridge.
Once you’ve made a choice, just go with it
Once you have made a choice, it can be easy to wonder if you should have made another. When we are talking the little decisions in life, just go with the flow. So the sandwich you ordered wasn’t what you expected, next time you will know not to order it. There isn’t any point lamenting those decisions that didn’t work out the way you hoped.
What little decisions do you regularly struggle with? How do you make those little decisions easier?