Has the following situation ever happened to you?
Your toaster is fried. You finally get around to going online to order a new toaster and you search best toasters on Amazon. 5.2 million toasters suddenly populate and you sort by best review. You read through the reviews and find the one. You're about to add it to your cart when you pause and click on 1 star reviews just to get the full picture.
All of a sudden, the first review begins: this toaster burned my house down. The next review says: this toaster ruined my life. And it continues. You decide that there is no way you can buy this toaster now.
Then you notice that the inspired by your browsing history section lists the top-rated duvet covers. Hours pass and you have ordered three new duvet covers and zero toasters.
I call this Amazon Review Syndrome. Full disclosure: this not a real syndrome (as far as I am aware) but it applies to other areas of our lives, too.
It is so easy to have one question or one decision to make that seems to be wrapping up well until I google something, start reading reviews, or ask for one too many opinions on the topic. Between decision fatigue and an inundation of resources, it can feel almost impossible to make a decision or find an answer you trust.
My husband Matt and I have found a lot of freedom by becoming more decisive. We have given ourselves permission to make the best decision with the information we have at the moment rather than waiting until we have the ever-elusive perfect answer.
Then, we move on with our lives. In the past, it was so easy to feel overwhelmed and paralyzed by all of the decisions we needed to make on any given day. Add three children and we now have no time left for meandering in the decision-making department.
Here are three tips for becoming more decisive when life is crazy (and even when it's not crazy, but really, when is that?)
Choose one main resource for vetting practical purchases.
We currently refer to www.thewirecutter.com but in the past, we have used Consumer Reports as a resource. This helps us avoid googling the product and reading everything that has ever been written about it. We trust the resource and the process they follow to review products so we don't feel like we need to check a lot of other reviews.
Allow one or two people you trust to speak into your life.
Matt and I have a couple people in each of our lives who we run things by when we need to make a decision but we always discuss the topic together first. We'll usually say, would you mind if I share this with so-and-so to get their insight? And we can clear it with each other ahead of time.
We appreciate being able to process things together first to provide a foundation for our decision. However, we have trusted individuals in our lives who we respect and we appreciate their insight.
Make the decision and move on with your life.
It is so tempting to deliberate about a decision by asking everyone and their grandma for their opinion, reading every review and ordering four similar items "just to see what works best." But when it comes down to it, there are only so many seconds in the day and we have a lot to do.
Instead, make the best possible decision you can, at the moment you need to make it, and then move on with your life. If it's a bust of a decision, you can recalibrate but more often than not, everything will be great and you're on to the next thing.
For example, our dishwasher crashed and burned this summer. It was a really busy time for us and we needed to pull the trigger on a new dishwasher quickly. Matt went on Wire Cutter, read their reviews and made a decision in less than ten minutes.
This was pique decisiveness for us but it points to the fact that we had a need, he spent the time he needed on research and then made the best decision he could in the moment. The dishwasher has been awesome and we have no regrets.
I hope these tips encourage you in the decision-making process! Have you ever experienced the unofficial, yet powerful Amazon Review Syndrome? Comment below with your experience or any tips you have for becoming more decisive in our every day lives.
Thanks for reading!