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How to close on too many choices

Choice Paralysis!

Human brain is often shut down temporarily when it comes to pick from a large number of choices. It stops functioning due to choice overload upon seeing more than desired options. They can fall into frustration, confusion and high dissatisfaction leading to choice paralysis.

—Nathan Cheek

Closet full of clothes but daily, picking up unique, is tiring and we end up wearing only few of those clothes almost daily and most of the others stays intact for months.

In a restaurant (Especially a fine dining restaurant), the menu offerings are more than our anticipation, we end up ordering something and while having the ordered dish we often regret ordering it rather than enjoying it.

Choosing a career, a partner or even a small gift for our friend’s birthday we find ourselves in a fix. Unable to decide and if decided, not satisfying with the decision and regretting it. This is called the Paradox of choice.

We feel that more and more options would be good in life, but the life is the other way round, lesser is better when it comes to choices to pick from. Too many choices forced us into doing analysis to choose the best and we indulge into over analyzing the situation for the sake of happiness we are going to get after completing the process, but often this over analysis may led us to Analysis Paralysis. It is a situation where the decision is never taken and the outcome is null.

Barry Schwartz’s famous Jam Experiment:

In his Book, ‘why more is less’ the Paradox of choice, American writer Barry Schwartz explained a  very famous experiment that he conducted in a retail store. He offered $1 coupon to visitors entering the store to purchase the Jam from the display.

Day 1; he displayed 24 flavors of jams, 145 people stopped and engaged with the packets but only 4 were finally bought.

Day 2; he reduced the flavors from 24 to only 6, today even lesser people engaged with packs, only 104 but surprisingly 31 of them actually purchased.


“The more choices we have, the greater the need for focus.”      –Tom Butler

Here are a few tips and tricks on how you can avoid the Choice paradox:

1. Set clear goals:
Before making a decision, define your goals and priorities. This will help you narrow down your options and focus on what is most important to you. For example if you are looking forward to participate in the upcoming Idea Meet at Polaris and not able to focus, try to focus on the best idea you have and see if that can be developed to the level of presenting in-front of the panel.

2. Limit your options:

Try to limit your choices to manageable number, for example, if you are shopping for a new phone, you could search and compare three or four models rather than ten.

Similarly, looking for a business idea for the IDEA MEET or any other idea contest, startup bootcamp, Ideathon or Hackathon etc. limit your thoughts on your strengths and your teams strength. What you can cumulatively do is a real idea everything else is bogus.

3. Consider the consequences:

Think about the potential consequences of each option, what are the benefits and drawbacks of choosing this option or idea and which options aligns best with your personal goals. Think if you win, would you be really interested to develop and live with this idea into your first business venture.

Polaris IDeathon

4. Trust your instincts:

Sometimes our intuitions can guide us to take the right decision, if you have done your research and considered the consequences, trust your gut and go with the option that you feel is right.

5. Prioritize your options:

Rank your options in order of importance or preference. This can help you focus on the most important of the choices you make and will eliminate the less important ones from the list and narrow it down further.

6. Break down the decision:

If the decision is complex and overwhelming, try breaking it down into smaller, more manageable parts and start focusing on the smaller components and take smaller decisions step by step.

7. Use decision making tools:

There are a lot of decision making tools available such as pros and cons list, decision trees and weighted scoring models. These tools can help you to evaluate options objectively and take a more informed decision.

8. Practice mindfulness:

Mindfulness can help you reduce stress and anxiety which can be helpful when making a decision. Take a few deep breadths and focus on the current moment. This can help you clear your mind and focus better when you start analyzing again.

9. Learn from the past experiences:

Reflect on past experiences, check the decision and evaluate the outcomes. Define your personality type and move in the direction of your natural choice. This will improve your decision making skills.

10. Seek Advice:

If you are still struggling to make a decision, seek advice from someone you trust as your mentor, partner, friend or guide. A teacher can help in choosing the best academic options, an entrepreneur may help you choose the best business option and a senior may help you choose the best career option. But when it comes to professional matters, seek advice only from a professional advisor, e.g. for legal matters, go to the lawyer, for health issue meet a doctor and for financial matters consult a CA.


Paradox of choiceRemember that the choice paradox is a common experience and it is ok to feel overwhelmed or uncertain while making a decision, but b using these strategies, you can reduce the level of stress and frustration associated with the decision making process and can make a well informed decision at ease.

Most important thing is to make a decision, it is always better that not taking any, even if your decision is to not take any, its a good decision.

Than if the decision turns out to be a bad decision or less than perfect you will gain a valuable experience into “how to not do it ever again” this is something nobody knows better than you and you can always use this information to take better decisions in future.

Remember, whenever you see a successful person or a business, always think of the decisions he may have taken when he was your age and you will be better placed to take the better choices for your life and gradually the best choices will evolve by themselves.

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Moreover if you are facing some difficulty in finalizing the best idea to showcase in the upcoming Idea Meet at Polaris, please do get in touch with us of read the brochure and other details at “The Idea Meet” page by clicking here.

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