Owning fewer keys opens more doors. ― Alex Morritt
David Cain recently wrote a great piece on his Raptitude blog on decision-making and minimalism. As an aspiring minimalist this appealed to me, but the commentary on choice and decisions was especially apropos.
I’ve been lucky in that I’ve always had an ability to make good decisions quickly, whether based on real analysis or winging it from the gut – yes. Yes, those can still be good. It’s been invaluable in my career and even personal life. But most people I know are less fortunate, and I’ve noticed how indecision impacts many aspects of their lives. The problem is compounded with age, and in her last years I watched my mother in-law become literally debilitated and frozen by even the most basic decisions. Because she couldn’t make decisions, the number of undecided issues made her life appear to be unnecessarily – and impossibly – complex.
The impact of decisions begins with breakfast, where Cain describes how he changed to eating the same thing every morning. I can relate – my breakfast is the same cup of Greek yogurt and Grape Nuts each morning. I eat it while reading The Wall Street Journal on my iPad, just after my morning meditation and stretching, and just before reviewing my journal and my Hour of Power. Every day. Routine is satisfying, and calming.
An abundance of choices and the decisions that accompany are both a benefit and curse of the modern world. By focusing on reducing options – minimizing choices – life becomes simpler… and calmer.
The implications go far beyond your daily meals. The best websites intuitively guide you among very few choices. Well-planned standard work reduces the variation of subjectivity while providing a foundation for kaizen.
Where can you reduce options in your life and in your organization, thereby reducing the waste and unnecessary complexity of indecision, and the variability of multiple decisions?