When I was a kid, our refrigerator was stocked with freezer pops all summer. We fought over the coveted red or blues ones, drew straws for who was stuck with the grape and were neutral about the green, orange or yellow – but that’s all the choices there were. Cherry, blueberry, grape, orange, lime and lemon.

My housemate recently brought home a bag of pops – still refreshing and ridiculously cheap – but now they come in a modern version of flavors: pina colada, mango, green apple, peach, and watermelon!

It’s the same phenomenon as the expansion of colors I previously wrote about. Yes, the new flavors are initially intriguing, but “more” adds complexity. “More” adds time and angst about which choice to make – or which choice was made. “More” adds even greater odds that some will be favored and others left behind.

If you’re looking for ways to simplify your life and make additional time available, one way to do it is to minimize the number of “mores” that you add to your routine. Pay a few cents more and buy the box of one-flavor popsicles. Purchase multiples of the same style of clothes or undergarments and eliminate the time spent on deciding. Have one form for all types of time-off requests.

We only have so much decision bandwidth and can only effectively manage so many inputs. Avoid the brain freeze that comes from using up your capacity on fancy-flavored freezer pops and trivial matters.

 

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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