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.

 

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