Technology should be making our lives easier, but life doesn’t seem easier. I think that is because we unnecessarily complicate it.
I’ve been observing a ridiculous amount of self-inflicted over complication around me lately. The solutions to this are generally simple. I’m a big fan of simple.
One of the best overall ways to simplify your life and make it less complicated is to be much more decisive. I read once that being decisive meant making decisions with speed and clarity. I like that definition.
Decisiveness Died With Technology
I’m absolutely convinced that people are much less decisive than they used to be. One of the culprits is our connected world. It seems some people can’t decided to go to the bathroom anymore without calling or texting someone on their cell phone to discuss it first and make sure it is a good idea.
Teenagers used to have to be responsible (at least to some degree) and make some decisions for themselves. Now they have to call mommy on their cell phone and get permission or advice for everything. Employees who used to be responsible for decisions, now have to run it by their boss or their colleagues. They have to do this 24 hours a day via technology like email or cell phones, even when they or their boss is on vacation. Couples who used to make independent decisions now email, text, or call each other to discuss trivial decisions. Don’t say it isn’t so because I can hear it going on around me all the time. We are all talking to everyone about everything. Individual decision making and decisiveness have taken a big hit.
Information is Killing Our Decisions
There is so much information available today that people feel like they have to consider it without realizing that it is usually not helping them. All this information overload creates analysis paralysis. When you spend too much time analyzing a decision, you are usually less satisfied with whatever decision you end up making. People who consider more factors when making decisions are more likely to worry later that they didn’t make the right decisions. So they agonize during the decision making process and then worry even after they’ve made a decision.
The overwhelming number of decisions people agonize over in small or large ways, are not that big of a deal. We are massively overcomplicating our lives with all this nonsense.
I heard a couple discussing a Disney World trip in B&N the other day. They had some travel guide to Disney World and they were trying to decide which Disney resort to stay in. They were looking at a grid with all the options of all the different resorts and discussing the pros and cons. I stuck around to see how long it would take, but they went on and on about it forever so I finally gave up and left. I wanted to shoot myself.
Is the resort on the transportation system? Check. Do the rooms have beds and bathrooms? Check. Does it have a swimming pool? Check. Is it in our budget? Check. That’s all you need to know. How much of their life together are they wasting with all the unnecessary decision making discussions? One of them could have decided the hotel in a couple of minutes. While they are chasing all over the Disney World parks, they are going to find out all their kids want to do is go back to the hotel and play in the pool. And in the end the kids mostly want water. The fact that the pool is shaped like Donald Duck isn’t on their minds.
A Decisive Person
A decisive person understands all this and takes charge making most decisions quickly and with clarity. A decisive person understands the difference between decisions that really make a difference and those that don’t. A decisive person has a lot more time for the important things in their lives and a lot more peace of mind.
Tomorrow I’ll make some suggestions for becoming a more decisive person.
What do YOU think? Leave a comment and join the conversation.
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