How to Reduce Choice and Make Your Introverted Life Easier
I don’t know about you but too much choice really tires me out. I’m talking too many items on the menu, what to wear, what brand of soap to buy. You name it, I want it reduced.
You see, a lot of the time we’re lead to believe that more choice is a good thing, if we can pick the one thing really suited to us, then we’ll be happier, right?
Well, think about how many times you’ve been faced with too much choice, has it ruined your experience? Distracted you? Maybe even made you just a little bit stressed?
So what does this have to do with introverts?
According to The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney, we introverts take longer to process interactions and events. As we process information we are also taking time to analyse our personal thoughts and feelings at the same time. For this reason, we tend to get overstimulated much more than extroverts do.
Introverts also tend to analyse choice by comparing old and new experienced to come to a conclusion. This slows down the thinking process and although comes in handy in some circumstances, when presented with a lot of choice, this can bring about unneeded stress.
Fascinating, huh? Basically, we introverts tend to overthink – but we all knew that anyway.
So if this is resonating with you, here are my favourite tips on how to reduce choice (these are all things I actually do):
Reduce your wardrobe
Deciding what to wear, colour combinations, styles, fashion trends, fabrics, patterns, has always filled me with dread. I want to look good, sure, but I don’t want to spend hours picking and trying on outfits.
So one day, four years ago, I decided to try Project 333, reduce my clothes and create a capsule wardrobe that was created to help me easily create intentional, beautiful and comfortable outfits.
The result of doing this is that I’ve saved money, only buy clothes that I love and never get stressed about what I’m going to wear. Lifesaver!
Pre-plan meals and buy in advance
We all know this is a good idea, but how many of us actually do it? If I ever go a week without planning my meals and buying food in advance, I’m constantly thinking about what I’m going to eat. What’s more, I have to go to the shops after a tiring day of making endless decisions, to have to make one more when I get to the shop.
Pick a day every week that you dedicate to writing a shopping list. Break it down into pre-planned meals and then go get it (or order it online). Done. You don’t have to think about what you’re going to eat for a whole week – bliss. It’s worth it, I promise.
Get someone else to decide
I struggle with letting go of control so this has been a hard one to grasp. But if you can do it, you’ll be so much better off. Getting someone else to make some of your decisions for you feels so good – honestly.
I’m not talking massive life-changing decisions. You and only you should be making them.
I’m talking about times when you’re starting to feel overwhelmed and the result is minor. For example, there’s too much choice on the menu – get someone else to pick your meal. Don’t know what drink to have at the bar? Get someone else to make that decision. Don’t know which notepad to buy at the shop? Someone else can make that decision for you.
Release control for the little things and free up some space in your brain for real decisions. Trust me, it works.
Seek the best, but not perfection
Perfectionism is a problem for us introverts. We think, think and think again. We seek what can probably never happen. So having too much choice is a real problem, especially when you’re seeking the perfect one. And the thought of making the wrong choice – that’s not an option.
It’s time to let go and seek only the best – not perfect.
It may sound like a minor change, but avoiding perfect will make such a difference when you’re making a choice. Because quite frankly, perfect doesn’t exist, so you will be trying to find it forever.
So, when you’re making a choice (no matter how large or small), remember to seek the best and not perfect. You’ll shave off some time, I’m sure of it.
I’ve already mentioned that I actually do all of these things. You may think that by reducing my options, I’m limiting and restricting myself. But it couldn’t be further from the truth. Restricting choice allows me to pick quickly, live in the moment and claw back precious time.
Give it a try and let me know how you get on in the comments.
Featured image by Yoann Siloine