Cosmopolitan India
Decision Fatigue Anxiety Depression Choices Image Credit: Cosmopolitan India
Decision Fatigue Anxiety Depression Choices Image Credit: Cosmopolitan India

The Problem With Having Too Many Choices

Latte? Mocha? Regular manicure? Gel manicure? If it feels like you’ve got decision fatigue, Robyn Wilder has a (definitive) solution.

Robyn Wilder

Near my old office is a smal café that serves delicious sandwiches. Everyone I work with raves about it. Each lunchtime, they’d bustle back to the office bearing heavy plastic containers that filled the air with the aromas of chicken and hummus. Then they’d take a bite of whatever it was and give huge quasi-erotic swoons. Meanwhile, I’d be cradling my daily Veggie Delight from Subway, proclaiming them all pretentious. Eventually, my curiosity got the better of me, so one lunchtime I ducked into the café to see what all the fuss was about.

Immediately wished I hadn’t. The wall behind the counter was a floorto-ceiling blackboard. Filling it, in the world’s tiniest chalky handwriting, was the menu, with 15 types of bread, twice that number of sauces and cheeses, and a multiple-choice saladvegetable-picking matrix. The coffee list was, quite probably, written in Klingon. Worse still, I was at the back of a fast-moving queue full of people who knew exactly what they wanted. Time to make a decision.

But the more options I considered, the more my brain curdled. By the time I got to the counter, I’d actually broken a sweat. I felt the full weight of the menu before me and the queue behind me, and still I had no idea what to eat. In the end, out of panic, I ordered a (ta dah!) veggie club sandwich and slunk away wishing I’d chosen anything else. After that, I never went back to the café.

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