News and advice

Paralysed by a big decision? See what you can learn from a coin toss.

Let’s face it. We’ve all put off making a big decision, falling victim to overthinking and analysis paralysis. This can lead to stress, poor sleep and what’s more, experts have suggested it may suggest a level of depression and lead to longer term unhappiness.  

On the flip side (pun intended), a 2020 study – Heads or Tails: The Impact of a Coin Toss on Major Life Decisions and Subsequent Happiness – found a coin toss that influenced a person to make a difficult change resulted in happiness 6 months after the decision.  

According to a CNBC article, the study by economist Steven Levitt, found that “for important decisions (e.g. quitting a job or ending a relationship), individuals who [were] told by the coin toss to make a change are more likely to make a change, more satisfied with their decisions, and happier six months later than those whose coin toss instructed maintaining the status quo.” 

Levitt, who’s also the author of the bestselling book, Freakonomics, goes on to say “overwhelmingly, the people who made a change were more content than those who didn’t” 

So, what does this mean for real estate agents?  

For many, agents can report feeling restricted in their careers which is often the result of working within tight corporate guidelines. Further, agents have reported feeling that they don’t get the recognition they deserve or the remuneration that reflects their efforts.   

For top performers, this often leads to the thought of branching out and starting their own agency. 

But then the fears and ‘what if’s’ set in. Despite all the knowledge and evidence that shows them they’ll be successful, and the common knowledge that people list with people and not brands, the paralysis starts.  

Should you go and grab the nearest coin to make a decision?  We don’t think you need to do that. But you should look at the key finding from the study. 

A “good rule of thumb in decision-making is, whenever you cannot decide what you should do, choose the action that represents a change, rather than continuing the status quo.” 

It’s advice that can help you with every major decision – so stop overthinking and choose change. Your future self will thank you for it.  

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