The Paradox of Choice – Productivity Book Group
Enjoy the discussion!
The Amazon book description states:
Whether we’re buying a pair of jeans, ordering a cup of coffee, selecting a long-distance carrier, applying to college, choosing a doctor, or setting up a 401(k), everyday decisions—both big and small—have become increasingly complex due to the overwhelming abundance of choice with which we are presented.
As Americans, we assume that more choice means better options and greater satisfaction. But beware of excessive choice: choice overload can make you question the decisions you make before you even make them, it can set you up for unrealistically high expectations, and it can make you blame yourself for any and all failures. In the long run, this can lead to decision-making paralysis, anxiety, and perpetual stress. And, in a culture that tells us that there is no excuse for falling short of perfection when your options are limitless, too much choice can lead to clinical depression.
In The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz explains at what point choice—the hallmark of individual freedom and self-determination that we so cherish—becomes detrimental to our psychological and emotional well-being. In accessible, engaging, and anecdotal prose, Schwartz shows how the dramatic explosion in choice—from the mundane to the profound challenges of balancing career, family, and individual needs—has paradoxically become a problem instead of a solution. Schwartz also shows how our obsession with choice encourages us to seek that which makes us feel worse.
By synthesizing current research in the social sciences, Schwartz makes the counter intuitive case that eliminating choices can greatly reduce the stress, anxiety, and busyness of our lives. He offers eleven practical steps on how to limit choices to a manageable number, have the discipline to focus on those that are important and ignore the rest, and ultimately derive greater satisfaction from the choices you have to make.
Our next reading selection is:
(Please listen to understand the context of the resources provided. If we missed something, please comment on the episode and let us know!)
- Getting Things Done by David Allen
- Martin Seligman, PhD
- Daniel Gilbert, PhD
- SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient–Powered by the Science of Games by Jane McGonigal, PhD (Website) (Discussion)
The callers you hear in this episode are readers just like you, and you are more than welcome to join us on the live calls to discuss productivity books too! Please visit ProductivityBookGroup.org and find out the details and the schedule for upcoming book discussion calls. If you plan to read ahead or read a little more slowly, please visit ProductivityBookGroup.org and check out the schedule on the “Upcoming Books” page.
Please feel free to visit iTunes, Stitcher or whichever podcast directory or app you prefer to access Productivity Book Group…and feel free to review us there! This helps expand our readership and bring new discussion callers into the fold. Thank you.
Finally, all podcast episodes are archived at ProductivityBookGroup.org under “Episodes” so if you missed a call and want to review it, feel free to head over and give them a listen.
Note: All registered service marks, trademarks and other copyrighted materials mentioned on the podcast are that of their respective owners. This group is not affiliated with or officially endorsed by those copyright owners.