I want to thank my colleague, Mary Fitzpatrick, Plus's senior manager of consulting services, for this post. I am a sucker for a good Ted Talk, as is Mary. This one, though, could really help a guy like me who has to look at way too many (insert anything someone could buy here) before making a purchase! The ability to avoid decision fatigue or analysis paralysis would help a lot us!

Mary, if you can help, my wife and kids send their thanks!  Now take it away:

"You have almost certainly heard of FOMO (fear of missing out). Recently, as I was doing some other research, I learned about FOBO, or the "fear of better options." Usually I get to exert my most creative energy towards our clients, helping brainstorm, develop and ultimately find great options to help move their projects forward. I enjoy it, and it gives me energy to bring back to my family.

However, in the last six months, life has veered off the nice reliable path we were on to the point where I find myself evaluating (and sometimes re-evaluating) even the simplest of tasks. Grocery shopping has become a complex minefield of FOBO. Do I go in person or shop online? Local vs. big box? If I go in person, which store will have everything I need? What is the best time to shop? And on…and on… Every decision I make, I fear there is a critical feature I haven’t thought of that ticks all the right boxes.

For mobility managers, life in the time of COVID-19 is a constant review of our tried and true methods, like looking at new ways to use your mobility policies (virtual assignments), your duty of care (onboarding before moving) or understanding what a significant change in volume means. It is overwhelming. It is uncharted. New information is being uncovered all of the time. The FOBO is real. Ultimately, you want to make the best decision, even when there may not be an obvious “best” option, but rather multiple options which each have their own pros and cons.

In the Ted Talk How to make faster decisions, venture capitalist Patrick McGinnis offers strategies to manage FOBO and make decisions to help you keep moving forward. 

He provides some simple tips for organizing your decisions into the following categories:

  1. no stakes (like choosing a show to watch)
  2. low stakes (like booking a hotel)
  3. high stakes (like which house you should buy)

Once a decision has been put into one of these categories, then you can focus your energy on what really matters.

In addition to spending your energy on the right decisions, don’t be afraid to adjust your expectations on how far into the future you need to or can plan. Information and world events are very fluid in the moment, making it next to impossible to plan for the next 1-5 years. Try to focus on what can be done in next 1-5 weeks. You will find it easier to make decisions with the information and options at hand."