Dec 2021 Week 2 – Three Choices

I got a covid-19 booster shot this week through an appointment at a pediatric clinic. While I was waiting in the lobby, a booklet laying around caught my attention. This booklet provided guidance from CDC on tracking monthly and yearly developmental milestones for babies as they grow up to five years of age. This booklet also contained recommendations for parents to promote the development. As I leafed through it out of curiosity, I noticed one particular advice for parents. Cannot remember what age of the child this applies to but I think it may be somewhere between 3-5 years. 

Give them choices and encourage them to make their own decisions but limit the choices to 3. 

The disclaimer about three choices really amused me. This piece of advice could work phenomenally well for adults too, in an age where we are simply inundated by excessive choice in everything. There has been plenty of research and discussion around this topic. But this simple line in a kids manual provides such an actionable insight. 

Limit to three choices. Such a simple and effective strategy, isn’t it? My immediate thought was that I should apply this to my upcoming decision making endeavor of holiday shopping!! Just shortlist something from 3 different brands, 3 different options within the brand…and so on. Limit yourself to only 3 choices at every drill down.

Ah if only life could be simplified this way 😀 

Podcast 

HBR Women at Work: I came across this podcast recently. A lot of business/management content, especially around the concepts of women and leadership, is cliched. It is often shallow, biased, or redundant. So, I approach business publications with a grain of salt. But this podcast was like a whiff of fresh air. I found the discussions to be quite authentic and honest. Glad I tried this podcast. 

There were two episodes that particularly resonated with me – 

  • Keep the Challenges of Freelancing in Check: This one highlighted a unique challenge that I have experienced as I experimented with my career path. It was an eye opener for me that people have been thinking and talking about that – the psychological or existential challenge when someone cannot define or describe their work in the conventionally accepted way. It is about identity and being accepted. These “existential challenges” can be quite mentally draining and that in turn, limits the proactiveness or enthusiasm that is critical for freelancing.
  • What’s Changed About How We Work: This one was very interesting. Again, it was a theme I contemplated about but could never express that well. Nor did I hear anyone talk about it. It is about how personal or emotional should we really get at work these days. The work culture has transformed in significant ways where employers and employees are expected to be more sensitive, empathetic and authentic. Even if the work culture encourages that, how much of your true self can you really present at work? What are the modern-day expectations of professionalism? Even when the boundaries between work and home are reducing, most people still share only a “curated version” of their personal life at work. As the podcasters describe – expressing your emotions of disappointment when others are treated unfairly will be considered as supportive and inclusive. However, the same emotions may be ridiculed or labeled unprofessional when they apply to your own situation of facing any unfair treatment.  

Do give this podcast a try 🙂 

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