Too many choices can cause indecision, which leads to frustration, and consequently, stress. Think about it. Have you ever been to a restaurant that has a menu with so many pages it looks like a novel? The wait staff wants to take your order but you can’t decide, so you ask for a few more minutes. Those few more minutes go by and you still can’t decide. Maybe your dining partners have the same issue. You end up stressed out and order something that you may not be happy with because you had too many choices.
How about your overstuffed closet? We typically wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. I’m guessing the 20% are the items in front, the others we can’t see quickly are most likely the other 80%. When they’re stuffed in there, they also have a tendency to get wrinkled, and need to be ironed. Ironing takes time that you may not have when getting ready for work. Which brings up another question. When you’re getting ready for work, how long does it take you to decide what to wear? That overstuffed closet gives you too many choices.
Too many choices can also cause you to overspend, which also causes stress. Let’s go back to your closet. As you shop, you may find a nice blouse or cute pair of shoes that come in many colors. Instead of deciding on a color that goes with multiple outfits, you buy one in every color. Wham! Not only have you spent a lot of your hard-earned cash, but you added to the plethora of shoes in your closet that would put Imelda Marcos to shame!
The ideal solution is not to be provided with too many choices. Ok that makes sense. However, it’s not always within our control. A proactive approach to decision making is in order.
For the restaurant scenario, you could always go online before you go to the restaurant to peruse their menu. That would give you the time to make your choices before you arrive at the restaurant. Even if they have daily specials, you will have fewer choices to make, which is the ideal solution.
Again, let’s go back to your closet. Whether it’s overstuffed, or not, I’m guessing you have a lot of clothes in there that you don’t wear. We. All. Do. There are many reasons for this and we all know why we keep those clothing items we never wear. The solution for the closet scenario is simple. Reduce the number of choices, or clothing items that will continue to live in your closet. We all have a finite amount of space in our living environments. The goal is not to fill up those spaces, but to keep our belongings proportionate to our living environments. When you purge your closet at least by 50%, you will have fewer choices to make, which is the ideal solution.
How do you deal with too many choices?