Improve decision making with a supermarket

We’re assaulted with a multitude of decisions, demanding action almost every minute of the day.

But each decision takes willpower, effort and time – three of our most precious resources. Not only are they key to decision making, they’re also fundamental to getting shit done.

Making decisions not directly relevant to the task at hand wears down our ability to focus on what’s important and achieve results. Those decisions kill our momentum and velocity.

But we’ve solved this issue elsewhere.

Doing all our shopping at the supermarket, once and then getting a single, itemised receipt lets us batch the task and makes it clear what the cost was. Buying 80 items individually, as we need them, and then trying to manage the receipts, that’s something else.

If we let tiny decisions arrive and challenge us on their own terms, we deplete our resources in dribs and drabs. It’s hard to gauge how much of our time, effort or willpower was spent.

But we can compress the demand on our thinking into more manageable chunks by capturing decisisons as they arise, holding them until we have a few and then tackling them in batches.

Taking the supermarket approach to decision making lessens the cognitive load, allows us to focus on making good decisions and – most importantly – leaves us free to act later.