I follow this great blog called Social Triggers. Recently, Derek was interviewing an author named Dan Heath who wrote a book called Decisions: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work.
It’s a very interesting podcast that I think EVERYONE could learn from. Check it out here. Unless you’re someone that never makes a bad decision, haha.
Anyway, he says, good decisions tend to be different for different people. If you and I make decisions and they are wrong, it’s because we fell into a finite number of traps.
This book addresses the notion that there are predictable traps we all fall into when making decisions.
1. Narrow framing. Tendency to unduly limit our choices when we make decisions.
2. Confirmation bias. The tendency to seek out information that flatters our existing beliefs, in other words, we go looking for information that supports what we want to do/believe all along.
3. Short term emotions. Our decisions are conflicted because of short term stresses and emotions.
4. Over-confidence. We think we know more than we do about how the future is going to unfold.
Dan says when people start making decisions they restrict their decisions too quickly.
They actually did a study on decisions that teenagers make and saw that they don’t look at multiple options or more than one option. Instead they look at it from a ‘whether or not’ perspective. Should I go to the party tonight or not? It’s just one thing being considered and it’s yes or no.
But when they researched organizations, they found that managers made decisions the same way. It was fascinating to them that these huge multi-national organizations made decisions the same way a teenager would.
An example of this is a guy was in a stereo store, trying to decide whether he should buy this stereo for $700 or the more expensive one for $1000. He was comparing each feature and going back and forth until a salesperson walked up to him and said “Which would you rather have, the $1000 stereo or the $700 one + $300 worth of music.
Well, he immediately chose the stereo and the music.
So the question to ask instead is: “What’s the next best thing I could do with this time and money?”
Imagine that all your current options vanish. They are gone. What else would you do?
When I consult with my clients, there are many decisions they have already made before I arrive or before we get on the phone in a long-distance consultation.
They have made some of these decisions because they simply don’t know that there are options, alternatives to what they are about to do.
Here are a few examples:
“I have brown carpet in my stairs and hallways but the bedrooms have the original white carpet. We want to sell the house in 4 years and it’s already 13 years old. I want to replace the white carpet with laminate flooring, which colour should I choose?”
My answer was to leave the white carpet or replace it with new carpeting if you really can’t live with it right now. 4-5 years from now when you go to sell, your house will basically be almost 20 years old so potentially someone will take out all the carpet at that point and replace it with the same carpeting or the same hardwood flooring. So replacing the white carpet with laminate that isn’t going to match any other flooring in your house is not an upgrade.
Leave the white carpet in there, clean it, and spend your money on new inexpensive slipcovered furniture instead. Decorate your main living areas to create a look and a feel because that is what a new buyer will notice the most. Not whether the flooring in the bedrooms (which does not match the hallways) is new or not.
“Which granite should I install in my 20 year old bathroom?”
“Neither, instead if you are not renovating your bathroom at all, then a laminate countertop is all you need to freshen the look. Stone in an old bathroom will simply look like “Yesterday and Today” all in one space.
Should I install 8 pot lights in my dark living room?
Pot lights will still not give you the same kind of atmosphere as 4-6 new lamps will provide in the same room.
And the list goes on. There are so many ways to slice your renovation pie and get even a better look that you ever imagined.
My recent landscaping project is another example. We had this huge triple rhododendron bush growing in a clump in the middle of my backyard. I was going to have it ripped out along with everything else until one landscaper suggested we move it to cover the bald spot on the cedar bushes in the corner of my backyard that was created by an old shed that was removed.
I did not consider that for a second. I just thought there were two options, (back to how teenagers make decisions again), “Remove them, or leave them”. And leaving them sitting in the middle of my garden looking old and mature with all new small and tiny bushes and plants installed around them was not an option. However, sitting in front of cedar bushes in the corner of my garden, is awesome because now we don’t need to wait for anything to grow there.
So, before you decide that there are only two ways to do something, consider some more options, ask more questions and you may find that you have more money to create a look and a feel which is what we all want in our homes anyway!
How to Create Instant Atmosphere in Your New House
Two Questions to Ask Before you Renovate/Decorate
If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, become a client. On-line or In-person.
Download my eBook, How to Choose Paint Colours – It’s All in the Undertones to get my complete step-by-step system on how to get colour to do what you want.
To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!
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