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Choice - Is it putting us in a state of 'Decision Overload'?

  • Hazel Butterfield
  • 26 December 2019

It's a double-edged sword. Who doesn't want choice, variety and freedom to stray away from the norm and be able to try new things? Yet, we may scoff at the dear old neighbour who enjoys the good ol' days when life was all set out for you. Less decisions to make, straightforward. BUT no brain overload.

Choice - Is it putting us in a state of 'Decision Overload'?

With so many decisions it's hard to be in the here and now. It's turning into a habit that is hard to put a halt to. One minute you're listening to your son's reading and before you know it you've zoned out and are mentally creating their next meal. Or ironically, have started obsessing over whether we we’re too dismissive of the guy who just came to the door asking for money for his charity, but we told him you were busy helping your kids with their homework.

Similarly, such a variety of options is making us put on weight. Yes, really. Carrot cake ice-cream? It's a crime not to buy it. Not another cracking recipe on Pinterest, I need to try that too. Honeycomb Martini, better get ourselves to that restaurant. However, we also have a plethora of blogs supplying numerous ways to get fit, lose weight, deal with a troublesome friendship quandary, help us realise just how appalled we are by the latest political movement or how to make your own Eco cleaning products...

However, is it counterproductive? Is it an avoidance tactic, where making any decision is better than none? If you've made 10 new and diverse decisions in one morning, surely that makes up for not making that one decision about phoning your doctor about that thing that is really troubling you. Regardless that said 10 decisions were relating to Quinoa, the correct belly blasting moves to integrate into your life and finally getting around to putting an old cracked watch on Ebay.

Everything is a decision and it can be overwhelming. What was a plethora of choice is now more of a case of 'inundated' with options that only serve as another potential stressful element to our increasingly hectic lives.

Keeping busy is a great distraction. Choices can differentiate us from the next person, however important that may be to you. To go one 'better', we don't all have to have the same, be the same. Do our choices state how lazy we are? Arrggh, more panic. Those that go one step further from the norm must be more creative, interesting, unique even...?!

I was delighted recently to have the pleasure of having Joseph Bikart, author of The Art of Decision Making, on my book show at Women’s Radio Station. Please have a listen below, he has some incredible incite in to our issues with indecision.


Make productive decisions, not lots of them. Make choices that make you happy, not ones that distract you from what is making you worry.


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Productive Anxiety, what is it & how to make it work for you.