Less Information = Fewer Decisions to Make

I’ve written many times about decision making (here and on my previous blog, which I wrote between March and October of 2006) and how to make it easier and less time consuming. Today I discovered a new
way, which is just having fewer decisions to make.

I
wrote the other day about Timothy Ferriss’s “low information diet.” Another of his posts is about a man who followed the
Bible literally for a year and found, among other things, that life was easier
because decision making was simpler.

His
decisions were now all based on what the Bible said (a minimal information
diet). If the Bible said yes, he said yes. If the Bible said no, he said no.
You don’t have to simplify quite so far, but you can see how it works. The less
input you have, the fewer variables there are.

This
works best if you realize up front that you will never have all the information
you need to make the “perfect” decision anyway. Your access will be
limited by time or other logistics. So, why not limit information yourself,
with criteria you choose?

I’ve
noticed that people get far too involved in collecting information, ostensibly
for the purpose of making decisions, but actually because they get hooked on
it. Sort of like following link after link on the Internet. It’s hard not to
fall down that information rabbit hole.

Try
thinking of it as a real diet. For a real diet to be successful, you have to
focus on what you’re eating and the exercises you’re doing. If you focus on
what you can’t eat, you’re more likely to fail. When the diet is over, the
chocolate cake will still be there. Same with information. You’re really not
going to miss anything important (see point #3).