Less Information = Fewer Decisions to Make

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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).