There are only a few days until Christmas and people are already putting the finishing touches to their preparations: deciding the final dishes of the Christmas Eve menu, placing that missing tinsel, or looking for that essential New Year’s Eve accessory.
But what if you’re one of those people who has left their Christmas shopping for the last minute and you have to spend these final hours frantically looking for gifts for families and friends, running side by side? Well, you’ll be relieved to know that this could be a good thing.
There are studies on the decision-making processes that show that spontaneous purchases, of those that do not process much, could be the smartest way to buy.
We explain the reason.
The risks of thinking and analyzing everything too much
In general, we usually consider that the more information we have about something, the better our decisions will be. But there are times when too much information can play in our purchase.
We make thousands of decisions every day: what to eat, what to wear, what to write on the mobile, and all this without mentioning the decisions within the work. But in those moments when we deliberate in an endless way about the pros and cons of some decision, we spend a lot of energy imagining possible consequences and predicting our instincts and abilities.
Many times we know what is the appropriate response thanks to the experience and information that we already have before. However, when we dedicate ourselves only to gather information, valuing some and other options, we can end up messing up what could have been an easy decision.
Make a decision and move on
In his book Intuitive Intelligence , Malcolm Gladwell shows us the importance of the first two seconds when making a decision. One of the conclusions of the book is that spontaneous decisions are as valuable as those we weigh for a longer time.
We work best when we make instant decisions based only on the limited (but essential) information that we have available. Once we have this basic criterion, we are already in a position to decide. But many times we get obsessed with making the “perfect decision”, which makes us spend more time and energy, even though we could have taken a step much earlier and with less information.
Think about when you are looking for hotels online. Using basic criteria that we already have, such as location, price and services, in most cases we would be able to book a room very quickly. But what usually happens is that we get carried away by another heap of information, such as the opinions of other travelers, which lengthen the process unnecessarily.
Do Christmas shopping on the go
And now, in the middle of the Christmas season, we fall back into the same error: we complicate the decision-making process so much that it lowers our efficiency when making these purchases.
Having less time to analyze more every detail of the perfect gift is, in fact, an advantage, and it is quite likely that you will make better decisions in this way.
So, if you’re about to run out to the mall to buy the gifts of your family and friends, trust your intuition and choose the first option. Not only will you save time, but also energy.