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Rebecca Zamon is the Audience Growth Manager.
I stand in the grocery store cereal aisle, staring at two boxes of oatmeal, each with its own hearty and healthy support, completely paralyzed by choice. The decision is so unimportant that I know I’ll forget to make it 30 minutes from now, but in the meantime, I’m at a standstill.
Whenever I try to compare winter shoes, or choose a restaurant for dinner, or more frankly, try to decide which one for my kids indoors with my friends. Whether or not it’s okay to have playdates is the same situation. They spend all day at school anyway, and why one school friend is fine, but two is too much and more…
I’m tired of making decisions where I don’t have all the information I need – and I really, really don’t want to have any more information.
Extra curricular activities. Rapid Test. car problem. Screening. Family holiday parties. Omicron. Every time a new scenario unfolds, my mind wanders and I want nothing more than to be back in 2019. But this is the case for rose-tinted glasses, because decision fatigue was not born out of an epidemic; This, like many other things, is a behavior that has been brought into the spotlight as stable routines have disappeared into the ether and COVID-19 safety protocols have been layered on top of our already complete schedules.
it reminds me a little contrast of choice, a well-documented phenomenon coined by psychologist Barry Schwartz. In her work, she describes specific challenges when there is so much to choose from, whether it is clothing choices or career paths, noting that “unrestricted freedom” can lead to paralysis. Given the multitude of options for kids’ summer camps it’s like to go cross-eyed, each one is potentially richer than the next. It’s hard to choose which one would be best for my kids, because how should I know? I’m talking about this mom for the first time!
It’s not just women’s experience, of course (though we all know that at this time of year, the lion’s share of the “holiday magic” comes as momIt’s an overload of facts coming to us all the time, asking us to make decisions based on things we’ve never considered before and don’t know how to assess. It’s taking our educated guesses and hoping for the best, and in the meantime, we’re trying our hardest not to compare ourselves to people who choose differently. It’s draining and taxing and it’s happening to everyone you know.
There is no magic bullet to solve this issue, but I know a few things will help (though please, don’t ask if I always apply them in my life). For example, taking the time regularly to observe what is happening can make a big difference. yes it means dangerous meal plan And sit down with your spouse and find out what’s on everyone’s calendar, and, when necessary. what can be left, Essentially, I’m talking about sharing the burden of decision making that involves a lot of emotional labor Women usually take. Looking ahead won’t completely remove the stupidity, but it will reduce the number of decisions you have to make in the moment, let you slightly higher of productivity And give you a chance to breathe.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for gifts this holiday season, I recommend making a gift I think everyone can use: a judgment-free day. You make plans, tell your loved one what to wear, where to stay, what to bring (and none of those “oh just yourself!” BS) and revel in the joy of making them feel completely taken care of. Give. Better yet, cut or screenshot this paragraph right here and send it to anyone wondering exactly what you’ll get. There, one more thing off your list.
What else are we thinking:
It’s my favorite time of year, thanks to an influx of “best of” book lists in my inbox (hello, Granthshala 100!). At this point in time, it seems I spend more time reading (or listen to podcasts) about the books I want to read and take less time to actually read them. But for whom I finish, I’ve put myself together own list at the end of each year, I’ve never kept a journal, but I look back on the last 12 months of my life every year on December 31st – through the pages of the books that accompanied me along the way. Wishing you lots of great reading for the rest of 2021 and beyond.
Inspired by something in this newsletter? If so, we hope that you will enhance it by taking it forward. And if there’s anything we need to know, or feedback you’d like to share, send us an e-mail here [email protected]