Consumers today have more products and services to choose from than ever before. However, having too many choices is not necessarily a good thing, says Barry Schwartz, a professor at Swarthmore College and the author of The Paradox of Choice
. Whether it's shopping for holiday gifts or trying to make an investment, Barry says having so many choices can be paralyzing and prevent you from taking action. Jean talks to Barry about how to make decisions and find satisfaction with your choices in the midst of an overwhelming number of options.
Barry shares his decision-making tactics to help you make up your mind:
- Look for the "good enough." "Appreciate and understand and act on the belief that 'good enough' is virtually always good enough," Barry says. "You don't need to find the best."
- As soon as you encounter something that meets your standards, choose it. "This is not a recommendation to accept mediocrity," says Barry. "You can have high standards."
- Arbitrarily limit the amount of searching you do. "Go to two stores, three websites, and then just choose," Barry says.
- Abdicate by asking a friend to help you choose. Understand that somebody else may have done the research for you and that's okay.
- Apply the principle of "good enough" to all arenas, from choosing a cereal to buying a car. While it might take more time to become comfortable with this notion, Barry says "it's just a matter of transferring skills to new domains."
- Know that if you strive for the best all the time, you will have more difficulty and spend more time making decisions, and end up less satisfied with the decisions you make, Barry says.