Become More Effective by Eliminating Your Options

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“A confused mind always says ‘no.’”

I’m not sure where that quote originated, but I’ve heard it often in the context of sales and marketing. The idea is that if you confuse your audience with multiple offers or complicated payment plans that go on forever, they’ll become unable to make a decision and instead just do nothing.

This is a thing. This is totally a thing – know how I know? Because my confused mind said NO last night (and in fact, says ‘NO’ all the time).


See, even though my business is centered around blogging and creating rock-solid online relationships with potential clients, I get super overwhelmed when there’s too many SEO strategies/list building techniques/business building plans flying at my face.

And doesn’t it seem like everyone has their own unique strategy they’re trying to sell you?

Man, I get so burned out with that. “A confused mind always says ‘no’” is totally my deal. My mind gets confused and overwhelmed pretty easily when there’s too much content coming at me, so I have to impose my own limitations if I want to get things done in a timely and effective (and confident!) manner.

Here’s how (and why) I’m starting to live by the idea that fewer options is the key to getting anything done well.

Take Away the Options (WARNING: Wedding Analogy Coming Your Way)

Last year, I got engaged. It was awesome – totally romantic, totally sweet, totally perfect. Do you know what a newly engaged twenty-something does the day after she gets engaged? I think you probably have an idea, but just in case you don’t, here it is…

She goes to the newsstand and shells out $12 per bridal magazine, takes them home, and spends the afternoon drinking wine, fantasizing about the big day, and dog-earing pages she wants to come back to.

I know. Please don’t judge.

But here’s the thing: after a few hours of wading through pages and pages of lacy, frilly, pink things, my brain couldn’t take it anymore. Too much! Too many silky gowns! Too many different kinds of flowers! Too many ways to make your skin look dewey on the big day!

Too many options. It’s been a rare occasion that I’ve cracked open a bridal magazine since, and in all honesty, the idea of planning the big event feels like a huge task.

Ever feel that way in your business?

On the other hand, if the options were, “You get white flowers or pink ones. Pick.” OMG. So much easier! This wedding would have happened yesterday.

Become Selective in Your Content Consumption

That same sense of overwhelm and stagnation can become rampant in our day-to-day business happenings if we let it. So many “to-do’s” are flying at our faces – Facebook ads! Twitter followers! List building! Video creation! – that it feels like too much, and it is.

The truth is, you don’t have to do everything. You don’t have to be a master at every single marketing strategy – just one or two that feel like the best fit for your business.

When I go through my email in the morning (and Lord knows email drives me crazy), I carefully choose what I’ll consume and what goes to the trash. What is worthy of my energy, which is finite, after all. These things are meant to be helpful, but in many cases they end up causing more stress than they alleviate.

So here’s my question for you this week, blogger friend: how can you be more selective in your content consumption? Not everything needs to be read, understood, pondered. You have my permission to be a little more choosey!

Leave a comment below if you can think of some content outlets that you’ll leave behind.


Allison Volk specializes in creating authority and visibility for businesses and entrepreneurs through effective content marketing. Her clients have appeared in The Huffington Post,, Mind Body Green, LifeHack, Bitter Lemons and, to name a few. Find out more at

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4 thoughts on “Become More Effective by Eliminating Your Options

  1. I remember having the exact same experience after my marriage proposal! And then I figured this out: the bridal magazines only appear to have a lot of choices. In actuality, the editors face the challenge of putting out the exact same issue every month, year after year. You have a ceremony and ritual – that comes from your heart and the life you’ll be creating together. People who love you, food, and celebration.

    As for inbox content, I swear my It allows me to be kind of “hoardy” with all the stuff I’m interested in, but I can choose to scroll through them – or not! – and keep the inbox relatively decluttered. It surprises me that when I skip a week or so, I delete all those emails and I’m not missing anything much.

    Which brings me back to the top of this comment – it’s about your heart, creating the life you love and always…good meals shared with loved ones.

    • Ooh, great tip with, Brook! Thank you! That’s an awesome resource that I just might put to use myself… 🙂

  2. I have been hearing about just-in-time-learning this year. Only consume what you need for the next step in your business. If you won’t need it for three months, leave it until then. Just consume what you need right now.

    • I love this, Mary Ellen, and it’s funny that you mentioned it because I JUST heard about this concept last night. Isn’t it so true? There’s no reason to learn a skill that we can’t put to use.

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