Optimal scarcity

Several good things can result from scarcity.

That is right. A looming deadline stems procrastination, fosters clarity and helps us make quick decisions. Meetings are often more productive in the second half, when time is running out. We are more judicious with toothpaste when the tube is nearly empty. Psychologists call this positive aspect of scarcity “the focus dividend.”

Too much scarcity is detrimental. A poor person makes bad decisions because their mind is always thinking about the challenges of being poor. Even simple decisions are difficult for a mind preoccupied with anxiety. We all know the manager who is too busy to notice that their biggest problem is their busyness itself. Psychologists fittingly call this “tunneling”.

The key here is to find the middle ground – with enough scarcity to bring focus, but enough slack to avoid tunneling.

Inspiration: Scarcity

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s