- New research from Aviva reveals that getting divorced/ending a long-term relationship (31%) and buying a new home (29%) are life’s most difficult decisions
- Brits lose almost £231 billion in a year, on average, due to being indecisive
- More than a quarter (26%) of Brits find decision-making difficult due to financial pressures
- To help tackle this, the leading insurer has partnered with Katie Piper and behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings to launch the Aviva Decision School, a free online teaching academy that trains people to defeat indecision and move forward in their lives
New research from leading insurer Aviva reveals that Brits lose almost 43 nights’ sleep a year2 worrying about making the right decision, the equivalent of an astounding 17 billion hours3 of lost sleep amongst UK adults.
To help the nation tackle its indecisiveness, Aviva has partnered with Katie Piper and behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings to launch the “Aviva Decision School” – an online teaching academy that trains people to overcome hesitancy to make decisions and life changes more easily and with confidence.
When it comes to life’s most difficult choices, getting divorced/ending a long-term relationship tops the list (31%); followed by buying a new home (29%) and relocating to a new country (27%). Others include changing job or career (27%), getting married (25%) and having/adopting a child (21%).
Almost a third of Brits put off making a big commitment due to difficulty trusting their instincts.
The emotional process of making a big decision can be daunting, with almost half of Brits (49%) feeling anxious when doing so; more than two-fifths (43%) getting stressed, and almost a third (32%) feeling overwhelmed.
In fact, three fifths of Brits (60%) admit to putting off making a big decision, with almost a fifth (19%) doing so often, and 16% delaying decisions very often. Deciding when to retire is the decision Brits take the longest time over, taking on average 10 months and 7 days.
The Aviva Decision School is a free course available to the public. It is designed to help people learn the art of confident decision-making and break free from the shackles of procrastination as they grapple with the everyday and life-changing choices they have to make in their lives.
The curriculum of lessons and guidance covers a range of different areas specially targeted at how to make life choices with ease, including overcoming any related anxiety, making decisions under pressure, and trusting one’s instincts.
Almost a third of Brits put off making a big commitment due to difficulty trusting their instincts (32%); 24% delay as they overcome anxiety related to a particular decision, and 17% feel that they don’t have the right tools or expertise available to them.
Brits estimate they lose £421 a year due to being indecisive.
The choices we make have a big impact on our lives, including financially. On average, Brits estimate they lose £421 a year due to being indecisive, with 35–44-year-olds losing the most (£506). In fact, almost a fifth of Brits (19%) believe they’ve lost over £500 in a year due to being hesitant.
More than one in 10 respondents (11%) have missed out on a job offer due to procrastinating, whilst 7% have missed out on buying a home or have had to buy a more expensive one as a result.
Alongside Katie Piper and behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings, the Aviva Decision School includes inspiring and practical advice and insights from a range of expert decision-makers from different fields:
- Leroy Logan MBE – Former superintendent in the Metropolitan Police and founding member and former chairman of the Black Police Association. Logan was involved in the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry and the inquiry into the killing of Damilola Taylor.
- Vanessa O’Brien – Mountaineer, explorer, author, and former business executive. In 2020, O'Brien became the first woman to reach Earth's highest and lowest points, receiving a Guinness World Record.
Raj Kumar, Corporate Reputation Director at Aviva, said: “Our research shows that the majority of us struggle with decision-making at various stages of our lives and, as a result, we Brits are no strangers to procrastination. We know the last 18 months have really made a lot of people rethink their priorities, which has led to some challenging decision-making.
"That’s why it felt like just the right time for us to launch the Aviva Decision School with Katie and Jo - to help the nation tackle its issues with indecision and provide people with the practical tools they need to make decisions with ease.”
Behavioural Psychologist, Jo Hemmings, said: “Making decisions – and avoiding them – can have a huge impact on our emotional and physical wellbeing, as well as our relationships, finances and a host of other factors. It’s natural for many of us to feel overwhelmed when it comes to life’s more difficult decisions. However, it doesn’t mean that you have to be alone in making them. The Aviva Decision School addresses a host of topics, from overcoming anxiety or procrastination, to dealing with pressure and trusting your instincts.”
Author, Philanthropist & Presenter, Katie Piper, said: “Life can bring many opportunities and challenges, which are sometimes difficult to navigate. Being part of the Aviva Decision School has been a wonderful opportunity and has allowed me to reflect on decisions I’ve made throughout my life and professional career. It’s been a pleasure to work alongside Aviva, Jo and our inspiring decision makers to share advice and help instil confidence in decision-making.”
To find out more about the Aviva Decision School and view the first suite of tools, visit: www.aviva.co.uk/decisionschool
The top 15 most difficult decisions to make
- Getting divorced or ending a long-term relationship - 31%
- Buying a new home - 29%
- Relocating to a new country - 27%
- Changing job or career – 27%
- Getting married – 25%
- Having or adopting a child – 21%
- Moving in with a partner – 20%
- Relocating to new city – 20%
- Caring for a family member – 19%
- Where to invest money – 15%
- Deciding when to retire – 13%
- Choosing a pension – 10%
- School choices – 8%
- Pursuing further education and choosing a degree (or deciding not to do so) – 8%
- Getting a pet – 7%
The life decisions Brits spend the most time procrastinating over (on average, in months)
- Deciding when to retire – 10 months, 7 days
- Getting married – 8 months, 29 days
- Getting divorced or ending a long-term relationship – 8 months, 26 days
- Relocating to a new country – 7 months, 14 days
- Having or adopting a child – 7 months, 4 days
- Buying a new home (house/flat) – 6 months, 29 days
- Changing job or career – 6 months, 28 days
- Moving in with a partner – 6 months, 9 days
- Relocating to new city – 6 months, 2 days
- Choosing a pension – 5 months, 19 days
- Pursuing further education and choosing a degree – 5 months, 12 days
- Getting a pet – 5 months
- School choices – 4 months, 19 days
- Where to invest money – 4 months, 13 days
- Caring for a family member – 4 months, 6 days
The top reasons why those who think decision making is hardest at a particular age find decision-making difficult.
- Uncertainty about the future – 46%
- Their general life experience – 39%
- People don't know what they want/need – 35%
- Financial pressure – 35%
- Family commitments – 25%
- People are short of time to do research – 15%
For media enquiries about Aviva Decision School, please contact Hope&Glory PR: Aviva@hopeandglorypr.com
1 Average of £420.55 lost in a year due to being indecisive (excluding those who selected 'N/A' and 'Not sure') x 54,098,971 (ONS 2019 mid-year UK 16+ population) = £22,751,322,254
2 Average of 6.15 hours of sleep are lost a week per person (excluding those who selected 'I don't worry about making the right decision') x 52 (weeks in calendar year) = 319.8 hours lost a year / 7.5 (Mean average of NHS recommended hours of sleep per night) = 42.64 nights sleep lost
3 Average of 6.15 hours of sleep are lost a week per person x 52 (weeks in calendar year) x (ONS 2019 midyear UK 16+ population) 54,098,971 = 17,300,850,9265.8
Research conducted by Censuswide in the UK with 2,004 respondents aged (Nationally Representative) 16+ between 28-29 July 2021. The survey was conducted from a random sample of UK adults. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.
Notes to editors:
- For information on how Aviva is helping our people, customers and communities impacted by COVID-19 visit: www.aviva.com/covid-19-our-response/
- We exist to be with people when it really matters, throughout their lives. We have been taking care of people for more than 320 years, in line with our purpose of being ‘with you today, for a better tomorrow’. In 2020, we paid £30.6 billion in claims and benefits to our customers.
- Aviva is invested in our people, our customers, our communities and our planet. In 2021, we announced our plan to become a Net Zero carbon emissions company by 2040, the first major insurance company in the world to do so. This plan means Net Zero carbon emissions from our investments by 2040; setting out a clear pathway to get there with a cut of 25% in the carbon intensity of our investments by 2025 and of 60% by 2030; and Net Zero carbon emissions from our own operations and supply chain by 2030. Aviva has been leading this agenda for decades: Aviva was the first international insurer to go operationally carbon neutral in 2006 and we are champions of renewable energy and energy storage at our offices, allowing us to achieve our 2030 carbon reduction target (70% reduction on 2010 levels) 10 years early. Find out more about our climate goals at www.aviva.com/climate-goals and our sustainability ambition at www.aviva.com/sustainability.
- Aviva is a Living Wage and Living Hours employer and provides market-leading benefits for our people, including flexible working, paid carers leave and equal parental leave. Find out more at www.aviva.com/social-purpose
- We are focused on the UK, Ireland and Canada where we have leading market positions and significant potential. We will invest for growth in these markets. We will also transform our performance and improve our efficiency. Our transformation will be underpinned by managing our balance sheet prudently, reducing debt and increasing our financial resilience. We also have strategic investments in Singapore, China and India.
- At 30 June 2021, total Group assets under management at Aviva Group are £522 billion and our Solvency II shareholder capital surplus is £12 billion. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE 100 index.
- For more details on what we do, our business and how we help our customers, visit www.aviva.com/about-us
- The Aviva newsroom at www.aviva.com/newsroom includes links to our spokespeople images, podcasts, research reports and our news release archive. Sign up to get the latest news from Aviva by email.You can follow us on:
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/avivaplc/
- LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/aviva-plc
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/avivaplc
- For the latest corporate films from around our business, subscribe to our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/aviva