The abundance of choices we have in today’s world is overwhelming. Seems everyone wants to give us options…so we can chose.
When you consider that the human capacity to process options tops out at 5 plus or minus 2, it makes you wonder then, why do we continue to add more and more options. Having spent most of my career working to understanding the consumer, I get the objective.
However, I think we also need to consider that just because we can…doesn’t mean we should. In fact, studies have shown that when less choice is offered, it actually sells more. The choices need to be better not just more.
I think the same is true for us as individuals. If we do all the research to understand the full range of choices we have, we don’t optimize our choices or don’t move the ball forward. It is up to us to learn how to process the world of choice. To focus on a limited set of better options from which to make a final decision.
Here’s a fun way to help you get focused. Once you get your list of choices narrowed down and you are beginning to hem and haw about what to do, try this.
Imagine one of them vanishes and ask yourself if you care. Remember – you will still have the others to choose from. Bottom line, does it matter that this choice is gone?
If the answer is no, it didn’t matter. Move on. If you do care, make a different one vanish and ask the same question.
The process makes you feel the “lose” of choice and the “lose” of what that one offered. In some cases, the things that make them different are not the key things that matter.
Keeping them in the consideration set just blurs the real choice. Practicing the “vanishing choice” exercise will focus the conversation and consideration to the “fundamentals” and allow you to look at what really matters.