How much time do you spend daily on decisions?
Every day I need to wake up and start my day.
Solve a puzzle of a day.
When I think about it, it looks to be a quite challenging process that involves many things.
Let’s try to list them:
- do my bed,
- choose what to wear,
- wake up kids,
- take kids to the school,
- go to work,
- go to grocery,
- refuel my car,
- fix a broken cabinet,
- mow my lawn,
- buy medications,
- do shopping for important stuff like toilet paper, toothpaste, soap, laundry detergent, diapers, pet food,
Photo by Hans-Peter Gauster on Unsplash
It looks like endless list, isn’t it ?
Most of the items on my list require a decision making process which sometimes is simple and sometimes more complex, for example:
- what would I like to eat for my breakfast while still keeping my body healthy.
- What is my day’s plan and what should I wear today – sweat dress, suit, dress, jacket, jeans, or …
Daily routine to stay productive and creative
Daily routine should help you out and use the best out of your body – energy, creativity, and stamina. I know that I can’t be all the time on 100%. I need to consider my constraints and adapt my daily routine to my energy levels which are variable during the day. This involves also energy consumption during simple brain activity and even simple socks’ color picking requires some resources.
Expect to take some time and do another round trip – Sometimes picking the correct product requires additional analysis of my needs and research. This encompasses time which is quite expensive nowadays and consumes additional daily limited energy. It’s good to focus first on basic products and after that start expanding to include more complex ones.
Buy too much – I can’t even count how many times I’ve been tempted to buy in bulk in order to save my money. This approach sometimes caused more problems than it solved. For example, purchasing perishable products will end up with a waste, which actually makes me spending more than I’ve saved.
Consider looking for help – Time and money are part of the decision-making process, so it sounds good to look for someone experienced to help me chose correctly a product that will fulfill my needs and not cost too much. This would not only save my money but also save my precious time.
Buy things that I don’t need – Ads, people, emotions, the influence of society – those are major reasons why I tend to buy things that I don’t really need, but there is one more important – lack of knowledge regarding this specific product or service that I need.
That why it’s so important to be able to make better, I would say intelligent decisions.
What is this intelligence really?
Intelligence can be evaluated by IQ score.
IQ – An Intelligence Quotient is a total score derived from a set of tests designed to assess human intelligence. It’s a form of reasoning, logic, and problem-solving.
According to this definition, everything we do is considered an effect of intelligence. Every decision we make is based on logic and a problem-solving process.
So, right now I can think of some question:
- How does this IQ thing could improve my life?
- What can I gain from an intelligent decision-making process?
- Do I need to fill-out some tests to be an intelligent customer?
- Who is this intelligent customer?
- Why intelligence is so important?
Answers to all of those questions and even some more will be covered by multiple posts, but right now let’s focus on:
Definition of intelligence and intelligent customer.
For me, intelligence is a logical decision-making process that allows me to spend my money in a reasonable way.
In this way, I can live sparingly without major sacrifices.
This approach makes me an intelligent customer, who can save much more instead of putting it into grandma’s sockets.
I can have an affordable life without a struggle for the next day.
Unfortunately, intelligence requires lots of time and research. It’s a simple but tedious process of checking which product is the best for me, which one will last longer and fulfill my needs.
This can be solved in two ways:
|SOLUTION||TIME REQUIRED TO ACCOMPLISH|
|1||By myself, looking everywhere I can for anything I can find about a specific product, idea, or problem I have.||HOURS – look for the source of information, read, analyze, assess the correctness of the information, and repeat the process many times until the desired result has been achieved.|
|2||By getting help from someone who has that experience and knowledge and is willing to share it with me.||MINUTES – It takes a few minutes to read the solution to my problem and make a decision about what I want to do with it.|
Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels
Why I bought things that I didn’t need?
Let’s check the major mistakes I used to make:
Some people go to the shops and look around in the hope that they will find something useful.
I have to admit that I used to do the same. I didn’t think if I really needed anything. I just went to the shop to find out a reason why I should get a bunch of stuff.
I had to stop following the just-for-fun shopping habit. My routine: I create daily or weekly a list of things that I really need. I come back to that list after some time – a day or week later to check what are my feelings about the products that I put there. After one or two reviews I’m pretty sure that I have a good shopping list.
The simplest example would be my car – I have the old one.
Do you think that anybody cares about my car?
Maybe, if we consider old car and pollution but that’s a completely different topic.
Even if they did care, why would I care what do they think?
I had a tendency to, instead of learning how to fix a car in a simple way, buy a new one. This way I could impress others.
BUT WHY ???!!! Being prideful eats my savings.
- The need of keeping up
I had a tendency to keep up with my friends and family forgetting that my friends and family’s needs aren’t necessarily the same as mine.
Everyone is different and therefore has different needs, but we all have basic ones:
Everything else can be considered as Self-fulfillment and Psychological needs according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow’s_hierarchy_of_needs). That why I try to clearly define on one list what’s necessary and with confidence make a second list with Psychological and self-fulfillment needs.
- Memory problems
I, like many people, keep forgetting what I already have before I purchase new things. Creating a shopping list helps me to find items that I already have and don’t need new ones or I can use the ones that I already have to get the job done.
Shopping for fun makes me feel better, but this is the worst way of fighting depression. This might lead to a depression driven by your financial problems, which were caused by shopping too extensively while being depressed – I wouldn’t be happy by getting into an endless loop.
To be honest, everybody is selfish, because it’s a natural function of our mind to protect us. That why it’s very tricky and dangerous to not get into debt by getting what you want, rather than what you really need.
We are surrounded by an astronomical amount of advertisements. Companies spend huge amounts on advertisement. I was influenced by this like everybody. That why I started to pay for services without advertisements instead of using free ones – this trick allowed me to save some money. This might sound strange, but I spent less money while avoiding the temptation of shopping.
At some point, I discovered that having more stuff made me feel more secure, which didn’t make sense. Sometimes we might feel better, but this is artificial security because we might lose everything in act of fire or burglary.
Sometimes I bought different things and called them to be an investment as a justification. Let’s be honest, many times its fake justification. Mainly only tools or items that value can raise in time are only investments. This way you can make money. Anything I bought and didn’t increase the content of my wallet was not an investment.
- Lack of knowledge
The worse one is the knowledge, actually lack of it. This makes me buy products which I don’t understand, I could replace them with ones that I already have or worse, I will not be able to use them and they will only collect dust.
I started to spend some time learning how to fix my old appliances instead of buying new ones or by creating something from scrap. I look for creative solutions to my problems to save some cash.
Understanding of all aforementioned mistakes and presented solutions turns us into the intelligent customer who makes intelligent shopping decisions based on knowledge and experience.
I encourage you to use my mistakes as an example how not to perform and make only smart decisions in order to save time and money.