I've recently moved into a new flat in New York City – not the easiest of feats in the middle of a global pandemic.
Moving is never simple; choosing a neighbourhood and setting your budget can be stressful. But right now it feels especially complicated, raising questions like, which moving companies are the best value – but also have the best Covid-19 guidelines? Do I get a bigger space in case social distancing drags on even longer? Is all hassle even worth it right now?
Then there are the more fun decisions. What kind of furniture do I get – Mid-century modern? Is it worth buying an expensive mixer to perfect that pandemic-era sourdough, or is it too late for all that?
These are decisions will shape my daily life for the next few years, so it’s imperative to get them right. Yet, making choices can feel paralysing. It’s easy to stress over the ‘right’ choice – and, in some cases, put off the decision altogether.
Understanding the different ways people make decisions has helped put things in perspective. People tend to lean toward one of two categories: 'maximisers', who want to ensure they get the most out of the choices they make; and 'satisficers', who tend to adopt a ‘this is good enough’ approach.
Each comes with benefits and drawbacks – including impacting how happy you are. Fortunately, there are also ways to ‘hack’ your decision-making process, allowing you to match the right approach to the importance of the choice.
Maximisers: 'make it perfect'
If you’re a maximiser, you’re likely to weigh choices carefully to assess which is the best one. This can, of course, lead to a great outcome – when maximisers make decisions, they're likely very informed. On paper, their decisions may look like the most logical or efficient, since they've spent so much time deliberating possibilities and potential results.
But there are also drawbacks. These are people who "have trouble making decisions because they're trying to get it perfectly right", says Stephanie Preston, professor of psychology at the University of Michigan. "They want to maximise the outcome, so they lose a lot of time in the process."
Read the full article at BBC.