Don´t over think it, or: stop being a maximizer!

Monday quicky on decision making: Decision making is one of the toughest daily activities we have to master. Jocely K. Glei posted an interesting article on 99u about this very topic and points out clearly that there isn´t any hard rule to stick on. It´s a process we can improve with every little decision we make day by day.

Studying different approaches and theories Glei shares her key findings and starts out with the most interesting one.

Satisficers vs Maximizers

This finding is very important and I can find myself in the characteristics of an maximizers quite often. She quotes Herbert Simon:

Satisficers are those who make a decision or take action once their criteria are met. That doesn’t mean they’ll settle for mediocrity; their criteria can be very high; but as soon as they find the car, the hotel, or the pasta sauce that has the qualities they want, they’re satisfied.Maximizers want to make the optimal decision. So even if they see a bicycle or a photographer that would seem to meet their requirements, they can’t make a decision until after they’ve examined every option, so they know they’re making the best possible choice…

We maximizers are not only wasting time, we are holding us back of being happy.

Advice: Set our citeria for the decision in advance and once the criteria fit, go for it! No overthinking.

Let´s say we are just about to book a hotel for our next vacation. Set criteria like “It need to has a pool, a gym, 50m² room, walking distance to X and below 100 Euro a night with 8+ ratings on Y”. The first hotel you see meeting this criteria is THE hotel. Done – go ahead with your next task.


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