Making choices and how to make design decisions will come up a lot on this podcast, so we wanted to explore it right out of the gate! Decision fatigue can discourage anyone, and with the million bajillion choices available to us on the internet, it’s no wonder that you sometimes have a hard time pulling the trigger. We want to help you move past decision fatigue with a few easy steps.
Step 1 - The “3 F” Criteria
When you’re thinking about making a purchase, we want you to take a couple steps BEFORE ever looking at pinterest or checking out online stores. Firstly, get out a piece of paper and make 3 columns with the following categories:
Feel - how does this make you feel, or how do you want this to make you feel?
Example: We wanted our table to feel cozy, intimate, and like it already had a story. We wanted it to feel well-loved even though it was new.
Form - What do you want it to look like aesthetically?
Example: We wanted our table to have a European feel, a lighter wood tone, all wood with a matte finish.
Function - Gather all your details. Dimensions, measurements, etc.
Example: We wanted our table to fit our entire family, so we measured the room and made the call on what size of table we were looking for.
Once you have your categories, write down words or phrases that fit in your columns. This is going to help you narrow down your decisions once you start looking and greatly relieve some of that initial decision fatigue! You can always cross reference your choices down the road to make sure they correspond with your initial criteria.
Step 2 - Take Measurements
Measuring the space this piece will fill is vitally important, specifically when sourcing furniture. You have to know how much room you’re working with. If you’re looking for something that has pretty standard measurements (like a couch), use some painters tape on the floor to help decide whether you want an 80” couch or something shorter. Taping it out on the floor will help you visualize what it will actually look like in the space.
Step 3 - Clarify Your Budget
You need to know how much mulah you can spend before you move towards searching. Most online websites have price filters you can use, which can be really helpful in further narrowing down your choices. After all, looking at $5000 chairs won’t do much good if you’re budget is $400, even if they would look great in your space :)
Step 4 - Give Yourself a Deadline
You need to have a purchase date in mind. How far in the future this is will depend on how large the purchase is. If it’s something small, decide soon. If it’s a large purchase, you can take more time. The point is, pick a decision date and stick with it.
Then, three days before your decision, narrow down to your top 3 or 4 options using everything discussed so far (3 Fs, Measurements, and Budget).
Once you’ve narrowed down your top 3 or 4 choices, take a day to not think about it at all. You NEED a brain break! This will help give you clarity come decision day.
On decision day, be ready to pull the trigger. You’ve narrowed your choices down to a couple things that meet ALL your criteria. You’re not going to be disappointed with your decision. The truth is there are a lot of amazing products in the world that could work for you. Because of the work you’ve already put in, any decision you make here is going to be great.
Imperfect action is better than no action at all. Decision fatigue can paralyze decision makers, and before you know it, you’ve gone a year with that same old thing that’s not working for you and your family. Be brave enough to take an action that may be imperfect, but is much better than making no decision at all.
Define “gambit”: a device, action, or opening remark, typically one entailing a degree of risk, that is calculated to gain an advantage.
Also, since we talked about our table so much on this episode, I thought I’d include a couple pictures:
Things We’re Loving
Jeremy - As a joint birthday / father’s day / grad school graduation gift, Chandler got me this AWESOME grill that I’m loving! It’s the Weber Spirit e-210 LP. If you’re going to get in on this, make sure you choose the correct gas type (natural gas or liquid propane).
Chandler - I’m loving my new jeans from Everlane! They are ethically made and super comfy!
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Links and Extra Resources
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