Decision Paralysis

No, no. This is not a corporate jargon article. I’m talking about real life here.

Have you ever had to do two things at a time, and couldn’t decide which to do? Isn’t it crazy? You’d think it’ll be an easy choice, but it is just so hard!

Mirror mirror on the wall, what do I choose of them all?

Normally, people would say, “Why don’t you just make a list of pros and cons and choose to do the thing that has the most pros?” Great idea. I tried doing that.

I had to go for a competition a couple of weeks back, but I was really tired after a long day in college. Going back to my apartment and spending the evening with a good book seemed heavenly. But there was that competition. What do I do?

I spent 45 minutes trying to arrive at a decision. Listed out the pros and cons too. Here’s what it looked like-

  • Competition

Pros- If I win, I get a trophy. I get to move on to the next round. It’ll certainly lift my mood.

Cons- I have to travel pretty far. I’ll get back home quite late. I am extremely tired, okay.

  • Going back home, reading my book.

Pros- I get some much needed rest. I don’t have to go through my classic pre-contest jitters. The book I am reading is at a very interesting spot.

Cons- Well…I might regret not going to the contest later. It’s not a very productive way of spending an evening either.

It seemed very even to me at that time. In the end, after 45 minutes, I only went for the contest because my friend dragged me half way there, and I figured if I’m halfway there, I might as well go through with it.

See what I mean?

Recently, I saw a very interesting way to resolve this “decision paralysis”. It was in this show called “Pitchers”. You toss a coin. Before you go all, “Really.” and get a sarcastic expression on your face, hear me out.

It’s not your classic tossing-the-coin-picking-this-if-heads-that-if-tails scene. You do assign heads for this and tails for that, yes, BUT, more importantly, you never see the result of the toss.

That’s because, when you flip the coin and it’s in the air, you will impulsively think to yourself, “Please be heads!” or “Please be tails!” depending on what you really want to do. And that’s what you should do. Regardless of what the toss says.

Interesting, no?

Give it a shot the next time you face this decision paralysis. And go do what you really want to do. Cheerio!


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