7 Ways to Combat Decision Fatigue

April 1, 2019

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It can be exhausting to make choices all day long, whether they are weighty or minute. Decision fatigue can happen to anyone who’s low on mental energy. As you keep making choices throughout the day, it becomes harder for your brain to make well-thought-out ones — leading to impulses, recklessness or no action at all.

“Every day, we must decide how to spend every waking minute — what we eat and wear, what we work on, what we do with our spare time. By bedtime, the average person has made 35,000 decisions. Every decision requires time and energy, and depletes our willpower,” according to an Entrepreneur article.

Cut down on what you have to decide on each day and streamline your choices. Use to-do lists so you can stay on track. Develop a routine that can minimize choices, such as planning what you’ll wear ahead of time, signing up for automatic bill pay or even using GPS for directions.

Having too many options will stress you out. Make simple decisions and stop second-guessing yourself. Pondering your choices to see if you like something else better will only make you regret all the time you’ve wasted. A decision matrix — listing factors and options along with a score — is another tool that can help you weigh your options. This can help take the emotion out of things and place importance on the choices, beyond just a pros and cons list.

The time of day can also help or hinder our judgment. In fact, for most people, the morning is the best time to make choices, when we are clearheaded, thoughtful and accurate.

Creating consistency in your life will help you know what comes next without a lot of thought. By keeping your mind sharp and being more productive, you can avoid decision fatigue. Here’s how:

  1. Have a process and simplify your life.
  2. Delegate decisions.
  3. Make big choices in the morning.
  4. Limit your options.
  5. Space out big decisions.
  6. Stop second- guessing yourself.
  7. Develop daily routines.

— Amy Jacques

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