Make hard decisions quickly

🌱June 15, 2021.
Last tended October 8, 2021.
seedling 🌱
1 minute read ⏱

With some decisions, there is a clear winner. Perhaps the rewards are much better for similar risk, or the risk is much lower for the same reward. These decisions are easy because the correct choice is obvious. That doesn’t mean they are unimportant. Choosing between a high-paying career doing what you love and a low-paying job at a local fast food joint makes a huge impact on life satisfaction - one option is superior. Easy decisions have an obviously superior choice.

Other decisions are not easy. When choosing between options is extremely difficult, it’s likely because the best options are comparable. There may be nuanced tradeoffs that are hard to evaluate, such as living somewhere with a shorter commute or more space. If one of those is more important, there is a clearly superior choice and it’s an easy decision. When both are valued similar, it’s a hard decision. Flipping that equation reveals that when a decision is hard, it’s because the options we have to choose from are of similar value. There is diminishing marginal utility from time spent deciding, since the outcomes are similar.

Paradoxically, people spend far more time on hard decisions. It is likely more efficient to make hard decisions quickly. Spend the recouped time positioning for easy decisions in the future.