Thursday, September 29, 2011

Too Many Choices

Don’t you cringe sometimes when you go down any store’s aisles at the choices we have? Yes, we are very lucky to have so many choices, but my inner organizer screams, “let’s simplify already” as all of these choices are making it harder to make decisions. In fact I read recently in Real Simple magazine (one of my favorites) that a study led by the University of Minnesota found students faced with multiple choices had less physical stamina and were more likely to procrastinate. I can totally relate to that because that is exactly what I do! The experts at Real Simple recommend that we limit ourselves to fewer than 10 options. I think I agree.

I remember when I was managing a home renovation project for my family that having to make so many decisions in a short amount of time was very stressful. I couldn’t procrastinate – I had to make the decisions. Luckily we were operating under a very tight budget so I was able to go into stores and direct the sales people to only show me tile, or whatever I was choosing, that fit into our budget.

I think having so many choices may contribute to the excess of stuff that we all have. We overbuy and then we need to have more storage to contain all of our things. Our excess of things can cause us more stress instead of the positive effect we thought it would bring by buying it. By no means am I saying we should be like the guy who lived for a year with just 100 things. I just think we need to narrow our focus more and really be sure we need or truly want something before we buy it.

I’m not sure why I am writing about this other than I had lunch with a friend today, and somehow the topic got around to clothes and makeup. I was lamenting to her that I need some new additions in both areas, but I am so overwhelmed by all of the choices…especially the whole skin care arena. I think I just need to do a little research so that I can narrow my focus and not be distracted by products I don't want, when I finally get up the courage to go buy some new skincare and makeup products.

Remember, with our stuff, the less we have, the richer in some ways our lives become. So when faced with purchasing decisions, the more we can narrow our choices, based on our specific needs and criteria, the easier it is to make the right choice.

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