How to Choose –  SHOW NOTES

Season 1, Episode 5 : Too Many Jams!

Tessa Mudge & Ken Smith


In this episode, we explore the problem of too many options – those situations where we become overwhelmed by the number of available choices. We answer the question: “Do I always need to optimise (i.e. find the best option) or is there another way?”


We don’t need to try and optimise with every decision:

  • A fixation on optimising can be paralysing (don’t be like Chidi from The Good Place!)
  • Optimising takes a great deal of time and effort – which we don’t always have
  • Focusing on optimising can also leave us second-guessing – if I’d looked a bit longer maybe I would have found a better option…


To learn more about Barry Schwartz’s work, visit and check out his book ‘The Paradox of Choice’


Facing a decision and uncertain whether you need to optimise? Here’s a few things to consider:

  • How important is this decision? Would a good option be adequate?
  • What do you want from this choice? Clarity can help you navigate through a multitude of options.
  • You can opt out of our consumer society’s obsession with always getting the ‘new and improved’ version of everything – be satisfied with the good things you have.
  • Remember – the optimal choice is a bit of a myth. There will always be options out there that are better (against some criteria) than the one you chose.

Share something you’ve learned with a friend or family member – it’s a great way to cement the lesson in your mind!


Tune in for our next episode, when we’ll talk about how to decide when you’re inundated with urgent demands. And hurry, episode 6 is only available for a limited time! (just kidding – take your time 🙂 )

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