The Paradox of Choice

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Have you ever found yourself hesitating to make a decision?

The diagnosis could possibly be ANALYSIS PARALYSIS.

You would think that having all the information at our fingertips via the internet may make decisions easier these days, but for some, it’s not.

According to psychologist Barry Schwartz, who refers to this phenomenon as the Paradox of Choice, multiple options can indeed lead to objectively better results, but those results come at the cost of stress, anxiety and unhappiness.

Instead of making better decisions with the information we have, it often results in greater fear of making the wrong choice. So we find ourselves in a cycle of indecision or analysis paralysis.

What can you do to get out of analysis paralysis:

  1. Stick to your main goal – we often make decisions without a clearly defined goal. Always ask yourself what is the end position you wish to achieve.
  2. Establish a deadline – setting a timeframe and saying it out loud to family or friends can force you to make a quicker decision.
  3. Start your day by tackling the most important decisions.
  4. Talk to someone about the decision you have to make if you find yourself paralysed by a difficult decision.
  5. Stop treating decisions as final – view your decisions as the first step, as most decisions can be adjusted and improved along the way.

As Nike say, “JUST DO IT” can be an effective decision in itself.

Frances Easton (MFinP, BBusAcc, CFP Professional, SMSF Specialist Advisor) is a representative of Alman Partners Pty Ltd, Australian Financial Services Licence No: 222107.

Note: This material is provided for information only. No account has been taken of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person or entity. Accordingly, to the extent that this material may constitute general financial product advice, investors should, before acting on the advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to the investor’s objectives, financial situation and needs. This is not an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities or other financial products, nor a solicitation for deposits or other business, whether directly or indirectly.