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Use the 37% rule to make better decisions

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Photo: Stanislav Sukhin ((((Shutterstock).

When it comes to decision making, are you the one who quickly knows what they want, makes decisions quickly, and rarely guesses your choice again? Or does it mean “go to the bottomless hole of the internet, look at all the options available, and then enter the spiral”? Decisions like “Analysis Paralysis Despair”-Maker?

Congratulations to the former. You are very confident, Zen or very disciplined. In any case, you are blessed. For those of us who tend to spend a whole day creating a meticulous list of pros and cons, there are attractive and efficient 37% rules before suspiciously throwing away the list and starting over. I have.

What is the 37% rule?

The 37% rule is Optimal stopping theory In mathematics, determine the optimal time to take a particular action to maximize rewards and minimize costs. (alias, The best time to stop looking for more options and trigger). According to mathematicians, the point is just after confirming or exploring the first 37% of options.

Of course, to calculate 37% of the options, you first have to come up with the whole universe. This can be done by setting a maximum limit or a time-based deadline.

Example: If you are shopping for a car and decide to see 10 cars before deciding, you should plan to see the first 3-4 cars, not the ones you intend to buy. After exploring them, the exploration period reaches the point of diminishing returns, Next car It’s better than the first three I’m a keeper.

Alternatively, you can set the search period as described by author and programmer Brian Christian in his book. Algorithms for Living: Computer Science in Human Decision Making:

“If you want to maximize your chances of getting the best apartment, spend 37% of your apartment search (11 days if you spend a month searching) and look for options uncommitted. Keep your checkbook at home. I’m just adjusting it. But after that point, I’m ready to immediately commit (deposits and everything) to the first place that outperforms what you’ve already seen. This is not an intuitively satisfying compromise between seeing and jumping. It’s certainly the best solution. “

This rule can be applied to decisions of any nature, such as dating and dating. Choose a vacation locationBuy a house, Hire a secretary (Or other job seekers). According to mathematicians, following this rule can help you avoid unnecessary annoyances in information gathering and data analysis, take action, and maximize your chances of success.

37% rule limit

Of course, when it comes to large-scale financial decisions and mental problems, this rule does not take into account emotions, “instincts”, immediate chemistry, and the power of counsel. (for example, One day A very attractive and cheerful person sitting opposite your very single self Scrutinized and suggested by close friends, even if they were that is The first date you went in a year. )

It doesn’t apply to all situations and you shouldn’t abandon obviously good options because of mathematical theory, but if you’re in a hurry but tend to make unfortunate decisions, or investigate all options. A useful rule of thumb if it takes too long.The next time you face If you have conflicting options, remember the following: The first third of the decision-making process is information gathering, and then Next The great options you come across are perfect.

Use the 37% rule to make better decisions

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