Why is it so hard to drop stuff?

We know that keeping ourselves and our workload in check requires a constant re-balancing. Things come at us, whether they are bigger than initially planned or unplanned completely. We need to make decisions about where to spend our time best. But do we?

Some of us find it hard to make decisions about what to stop working on or investing our time in. It feels like a failure if we stop now or we feel like a failure. We are sure the answer or solution is around the corner. 

One of the reasons may be what Richard Thaler, a pioneer of behavioural science in the 80’s, calls the ‘sunk cost fallacy’. The tendency to follow through on something if we have already invested time, effort or money into it. If we really stopped and thought objectively, we might know that it is no longer worth the effort or investment.

It could be as simple as staying in a role because you think you are close to the promotion. Keeping with a CRM knowing it’s no longer fit for purpose. Throwing money into a new product that will take too long to recover costs. It could even be relationships that we stayed too long in, hoping our investment would pay off.

Whatever the situation, some great questions to ask yourself are:

Am I persisting because the evidence tells me to? Or am I finding the decision hard because of the time and investment to date?

Ask us about our Working as One program to help manage your priorities and so much more, or come to our August free online event where you can hear all about the program. Click here to register.