Don’t Overthink It: Make Easier Decisions, Stop Second-Guessing, And Bring More Joy to Your Life (Baker Publishing Group)
By Anne Bogel
April 1, 2020
Dear Mr. Hemingway,
Decisions, decisions, decisions. That is all I seem to make these days. I know I am fortunate to have options, but why does deciding on what to make for dinner each night feel like it will literally put me over the edge? Crazy, right? I remember reading in Psychology Today that the average person makes somewhere around 35,000 decisions each day 😯😯. That is absolutely nuts! There is a reason why my brain is completely fried come dinner time. Pair that with the other 34,999 decisions I’ve made that day and it’s a wonder my head doesn’t explode.
I am happy to say that Anne Bogel’s latest book, Don’t Overthink It, is a breath of fresh air for all of us looking to simplify our daily decision making. Readers are greeted with Bogel’s friendly and down to earth personality. She instantly gives readers the tools they need to be more joyful in the midst of their over-scheduled lives. In a world filled with chaos, this book brought me to hope that the calm I am seeking is not that far out of reach.
“Deciding whether to cut a workout short by a few minutes is a little thing, but these little decisions add up. Each decision we make throughout the day takes a toll on our finite amount of mental energy-what to have for breakfast, which route to take to work, how to handle a tricky conversation, whether to buy new jeans before the sale ends, how our child will get home from practice on Friday. Each small decision requires only a bit of brainpower, but the cumulative effect is large.”
This my friends is why so many of us are suffering from decision fatigue. Anne Bogel comes to the rescue with uncomplicated strategies to help us conquer our days with more joy than stress. Worrying, second-guessing, and sweating the small stuff all lead us down unproductive paths. Bogel helps us to navigate not only the common everyday decisions (i.e. what to wear, what to make for dinner, etc.) to the more complex situations (i.e. values and finances, engaging in a difficult conversation, etc.). Having a signature dish, creating a daily ritual, simplifying your wardrobe, limiting your options, and finishing a task 100% before moving on, are just a few small changes she suggests implementing.
So many of us have jam-packed schedules with no room for error. Our cups have runneth over…we are maxed out! Bogel talks about the importance of building in a “margin” for the unexpected things that pop up. This margin not only provides us the freedom to be more spontaneous but offers us some much-needed breathing room. Imagine being able to grab an impromptu cup of coffee with a friend or go for an unexpected bike ride with one of your kids. You can even take it to the next level and maybe, just maybe, soak in a bubble bath for an entire episode of your favorite podcast 😮😮😮. How nice does that sound?
What I found to be beneficial in Bogel’s book is the questions and workspace provided at the end of each chapter called Next Steps. These questions and prompts allow readers to tailor Bogel’s framework to meet their individual needs. Sample questions include, “Which habits serve you well right now? Which habits need some work?” “Do you feel technology is currently spurring you to overthink? What steps can you take to limit technology creep?” “Can you recall a memorable splurge? What was it?” “When it comes to simple pleasures, do you ever catch yourself thinking, I don’t deserve this?”
My favorite example from this book is when Bogel talks about hemming and hawing over whether or not she should buy herself a bouquet of flowers at one of her favorite local stores. I have done this countless times at Trader Joes in Portland, Maine (Let’s face it, Trader Joe’s has the best and least expensive flowers ever 💐💐). After much debate (with herself), she left without the flowers 😢. She talks about how later, she broke down her thoughts and after careful consideration, decided that she would never pause in front of the flower stand again while shopping at her favorite store. Instead of wasting precious time and mental energy on this issue…..she will always buy herself the flowers in the future. Bogel also suggests incorporating into our days “mental health breaks”. Taking a brief walk, reading a chapter, or just sitting quietly on the front porch are all small ways to recharge during the day. I think we all could use a little bit more juice in our batteries! Small changes throughout the day yield BIG results. I can get down with that.
Don’t Overthink It is a book for NOW. It is bubbling over with healthy and helpful ways to vanquish anything that comes our way. Anne Bogel effortlessly takes on decision making like a pro. She graciously offers us a sneak peek into simplicity at its finest. Now is the time to clear out our cluttered minds, stop wasting time overthinking everything, and live the life we crave.
So the next time you go to make even the smallest decision, ask yourself…What would Anne Bogel tell you to do? DON’T OVERTHINK IT!
Your Biggest Fan,
P.S. Make sure you check out Anne Bogel’s FABULOUS podcast…..What Should I Read Next! It is delightful!
Click on the book pic to purchase Anne Bogel’s book!