Preventing Decision Overload

Preventing Decision Overload, David T Rosen

There are a lot of choices available to today’s entrepreneur. In fact, in many situations, the available choices can be so numerous as to be overwhelming. It’s not uncommon to be stressed about making the best choices and wind up making a terrible choice. So how do you avoid that? After all, you do still want to make the best choice possible.

The answer, it turns out, is to recognize that often there is no best choice, and that even if there is now, a better one might come along tomorrow anyway. So what do you do? How do you avoid “choice paralysis”?

One method is known as “satisficing,” a combination of “satisfied” and “sacrificing” that was coined by Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon in the ’50s to describe the notion of picking the first option that meets a certain threshold of requirements rather than trying to pick the optimal or “best” solution. How do you go about doing this? Draw up a list of your absolute essential requirements for what makes a “good choice”. When you encounter an option that  meets those criteria, go for it! Pursue it as though it was your best option.

And for those of us who feel guilt when we make sub-optimal decisions, let yourself go by understanding that your first choice isn’t your only choice and that you can iterate as needed for improvement, while at the same time recognizing that you simply can’t do everything at all times and that some compromises need to be made. Satisfice is better than sacrifice!

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