In one store, you find six flavors of jam. In another store, you find 24 flavors. In which store would you be more likely to make a purchase?
If you thought that you’d be more likely to buy something in the store with more selections, think again.
In a study by Sheena Iyengar, aprofessor at Columbia University Business School, shoppers who were given only six choices were 10 times more likely to take action and buy something than those with 24 choices.
What does that tell us? Blogger Peter Bregman believes we freeze when we’re overwhelmed. Because we don’t know which choice is the right choice, we don’t make any choice.
Next time you feel overwhelmed and frozen, tighten your focus on a few, easy things. Knock out easy tasks for 15 minutes, recommends Bregman. Then turn your attention to one of the hardest tasks on your plate, and work uninterrupted on that task for 35 minutes. Take a 10-minute break, then start the cycle again.