To Be or Not to Be: Decision Fatigue
This blog has been brewing for around the past 6 months. We all make decisions, hundreds a day. Some mega important and some really minor as what will we have for breakfast. Did you know that we only have a finite resource of decisions each day. So if we’re spending time in the morning deciding what to wear, what to eat, what to listen to, what will we do when we get into work. We’re already reducing our decision-making bucket considerably before we even leave our house.
The past 6 months for me has been full on moving home, building new premises, writing my book, changing my daughters school, changing swimming lessons, reviewing my health and diet. Seriously there had never been so many decisions. And somedays I was seriously done!
Where will I put my new premises, who will I get to build it, what type of light switches would I like, what kind of lamp shade, what colour of floor should I choose, what’s for dinner, should I respond to emails first or respond to messages, where should I meet my friend for lunch, what will I have for lunch etc etc etc
You totally get the jist. Do you ever feel overwhelmed making decisions? I started a specific diet plan to remove the decision of what I should eat (It didn’t really work as wasn’t bespoke at that point, but now away to write another plan based on seeing a nutritionist) But I just wanted someone to say Susi this is what to eat now go focus on your biz and family and what’s important to you. Many successful professionals are aware of this condition and will try to reduce the amount of micro decisions they make on a daily basis saving their energy for the big and complex decisions. And energy is key, as making decisions uses glucose and if your using it all up making little decisions it leaves room for errors come the big ones.
Mark Zuckerberg, Simon Cowell, Barrack Obama all wear a similar wardrobe every single day so as to remove this decision from their days. Obama says "You'll see I wear only gray or blue suits," he said. "I'm trying to pare down decisions. I don't want to make decisions about what I'm eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make."
The other downside to decision fatigue is that when we’re tired in this way we have reduced self control and can make poor decisions such as reaching for that sticky bun out of habit instead of what’s good and would benefit you. We go to our default decision as opposed to really thinking it through.
Do you think this is something you’ve experienced or are experiencing? If so here’s my key points to reducing decision making fatigue.
· Prepare and layout your clothes the night before. This low level decision can be done at the end of the day.
· Write your list of 3 key things you need to do first thing at work so your going in prepared.
· Prep and decide meals, especially breakfast the night before. And even if you don’t mind have the same thing each day for breakfast.
· When you need to make big decisions try do this in the morning before your reserves are depleted.
· If you need to make a big decision later in the day or evening try to have something to eat before to boost the glucose and assist decision making ability..
I’d love to hear your take on this, and whether you feel you have been affected.
Lets make some super awesome decisions and focus on what we really feel is important.
Love and Live Your Light