Fear of Missing Out
When it comes down to it, you only really face three types of decisions in life. High stakes, low stakes and no stakes. Let's start with no stakes decisions. These are the minor details of life where there is almost never an incorrect answer. And in a few hours, you won't even remember making the decision in the first place.
A good example of this is choosing what to watch on TV with thousands of shows. It's easy to get overwhelmed, yet no matter what you pick, the consequences are basically nonexistent. So spending more than a few moments on FOMO is a massive waste of energy. You just need to move on when it comes to no stakes decisions. The key is to outsource them to the universe. For example. You can whittle down your choices to just two and then flip a coin or try my personal favorite. Ask the watch. Assign each one of your choices to one half of your watch, then let the second hand tell you what you're going to do. Looks like I'll be having a fish.
That brings us to low stakes decisions. These have consequences, but none are earthshattering. And there are plenty of acceptable outcomes. Many routine things at work, like purchasing a printer, booking a hotel or choosing between possible venues for an off site are classically low stakes in nature. Some thinking is required, but these aren't make-or-break deliberations. And you'll probably have forgotten about them in a few weeks. Here. You can also outsource decision making, but you want some critical thinking involved as there are some stakes. This time you'll outsource to a person. Set some basic criteria. Select someone to present a recommendation and then take their advice. Make sure to avoid the temptation to canvas. Your goal is to clear your plate, not to kick the can down the road.
Now you tackle low stakes and no stakes decisions, you created the space and time you'll need to handle high stakes decisions. These are things like which house should I buy or which job should I accept. Since the stakes are high and there are long term implications, you absolutely want to get it right. Before we get to work. Let's establish a few basic principles to guide you through the process.
First think about what really matters to you and set your criteria accordingly. Second gather the relevant facts. Make sure you collect data about all of the options. So you can be confident that you're truly making an informed decision. And third, remember that FOMO by nature comes when you struggle to choose just one from a group of perfectly acceptable options. So no matter what you choose, you can rest assured that the downside is limited.
Now that you can establish some ground rules, the process can begin. Start by identifying a frontrunner based on your intuition. Then compare each of your options head to head with the frontrunner one by one. Each time, choose the better of the two based on the criteria, and discard the other one. Here's the trick to avoiding FOMO. When you eliminate an option, it's gone forever. If you keep returning to discarded options, you risk getting stuck. Now repeat this process until you get down to one final choice. If you follow this system, you will usually end up with a decision on your own.