Yesterday's post was about making your decisions nonreversible. Today the topic of discussion is, as Barry Schwartz labels it, the "opportunity costs of opportunity costs".
So just what exactly is an opportunity cost? Simply put, it is the cost of choosing one item over another. Let's say that you have two hours of free time to spend. You decide to go to see a movie. That time is now spent...it cannot also be used to go grocery shopping. Not being able to shop for groceries is one opportunity cost of going to the movie. But choosing the movie has opportunity costs other than the groceries, as well...in fact, it may never be possible to know for certain the sum total of opportunity costs for this decision or any decision.
Examining opportunity costs is often a valid thing to do. If you have money to invest, you want to know which investment is the wisest. If you are choosing a college, you want to make sure you choose one that will provide you with a good education but will also be a good match for you socially. Very large and very important decisions warrant a thorough thinking through.
But what about smaller decisions, like with your closet, for instance? You can choose to buy one shirt over another. You can choose to buy or not to buy. Here is where we run into the opportunity costs of opportunity costs. For smaller decisions like these, it pays to avoid using excess mental energy, as it only leads to stress and indecision.
Here are some ways to avoid the oportunity costs of opportunity costs:
1) Don't be tempted by every new fad and every new trend. Stick with what you know looks good and is flattering on you until it doesn't any longer.
2) I recommend that my clients find out which stores and brands they can consider their "fail-safes", and that they try to stick with these. It makes shopping so much easier!
3) Don't buy clothes unless you need them.
4) Don't worry about all that you might be missing out on. There will be plenty of opportunities left when it is your time to go shopping.
Next time I will talk about the idea of "good enough" and why it is often better than "best". (And yes, it all ties in with everything we've been talking about!) See you tomorrow...same blog time...same blog channel....
(My website has more information on wardrobe planning. I encourage you to stop by!)