Want Chocolate? Buy Vanilla.

Speaking of fast decisions, here is a method diametrically opposed in terms of both simplicity and usability: a “decision making spreadsheet.”

I’m taking issues not with the methodology – depending on context, it can be possible to impose a metric on alternatives and assign numbers to different branches of the decision tree, and it can be possible to narrow down possible decisions.

Tools like the one mentioned above might be useful in a minute number of cases, when there are hundreds of aspects that make up a multitude of decisions with dozens of peeople involved. For the remaining 99.999% of our everyday decisions, those tools are rather useless.

Let’s say I like double dark chocolate icecream “6,” which is more than vanilla’s “4.” But choc is more expensive, say “5” opposed to “2,” so I decide to have vanilla icecream … which I then spoon with regret because I know I should’ve gotten chocolate.

Worse still, decision tools can be abused in many ways, and their inputs massaged to arrive at a (probably unconsciously) preconceived result. And just like the search for “the perfect productivity method” or “the perfect spouse,” they eat up valuable time. — Time that can be better used to actually do what the decision is all about.

Keep breathing.