Have you ever played the game “Would you rather?” It starts with things like “Would you rather eat a dead cockroach or a live snake?” and usually devolves to things like “Would you rather be fat or ugly?” It’s kind of juvenile, but often amusing.
After reading Decisive recently, I’ve started playing a grown-up version of this game. In the book, the authors suggest that one way to make better choices is to force yourself to come up with alternatives. Essentially, it’s a real life “Would you rather” game.
- “Would you rather spend an hour and half going to Target with four children in tow, or spend an extra $5 to order the item from Amazon?”
- “Would you rather spend time and money washing cloth diapers or washing baby clothes that disposable diapers leaked all over?”
- “Would you rather have the house professionally cleaned, or do it yourself and spend the money on a really nice dinner out?”
As with games of “Would you rather…” that involve eating nasty things or different deeds of derring do, the actual decision making version doesn’t come with right or wrong answers. But asking yourself the question can be illuminating. It can give you some insight into how you’re thinking about your time and money, and show you patterns that aren’t really giving you what you want. I’ve found this helpful in small decisions like whether or not to buy a sweater, but it’s also useful for helping my brain put a big expenditure (of money or of time) into perspective.