So many choices. After a long and tiring day you may not be able to make any other decision, even if it’s something simple like what you pick up for dinner or what movie you watch on Netflix. This is what we call “decision fatigue” and we have already met this term in this trip on effective decision-making when we were talking about the importance of decision-making and how too many options lead to decision paralysis and procrastination.
It has a lot to do with exhaustion, and exhaustion probably has decision fatigue in its root causes most of the time.
If you are experiencing trouble making decisions, addressing decision fatigue issues is the most important action you can take.
So Many Choices: We Have Limited Decision-Making Ability
How many decisions in a day we make? According to thinkingbusinessblog.com (which points to further research), an adult makes 35.000 more-or-less conscious decisions every day. This is a lot of choices.
What is decision fatigue? As it turns out, we have a limited ability to make decisions every day. Think of it as a liquid in a bucket. Every time you make a decision, liquid runs out of the bucket. Big and complicated decisions take out more fluids, small ones take out only little fluids, but everything adds up. If you are empty at the end of the day, it is difficult to make decisions, especially wise ones.
This explains why we are perfectly able to eat healthy in the morning and in the evening, but in the evening to eat everything we can get our hands on. We have used up our willpower and our ability to make decisions.
Do you suffer from decision fatigue? Want to know how to avoid decision fatigue when we have so many choices?
1 – Rest and Restore
Fortunately, this ability – or the bucket of decision-making – fills up again overnight as we rest and sleep. We wake up charged in the morning and ready to make smart decisions.
So the cure for decision fatigue starts with taking appropriate rest and sleep; this is a mandatory condition to recover from decision fatigue.
Another point is taking your time to relax during the day or when you feel that making decisions is harder, especially in the afternoon.
2 – Let It Go
When we feel we can’t deal with so many choices, rest and relaxation are not enough and you are still having trouble making decisions, letting go is another winning way.
This is a variation of the writing and let it go exercise we saw the last time:
- Focus on the decision that makes you feel overwhelmed;
- Feel that feeling on your body – scan each part of your body and feel how this decision make you feel different – every tension, pressure, pulsing or whatever;
- Then breathe in those feelings – breath in and imagine to breath those feelings in while you breath;
- Then breathe them out.
This will make you slightly more comfortable with your decision. This works better if you do this a few times (take 3 as a reference) and then do something else. When later you’ll come back to your decision, you’ll find it slightly easier; and if it’s not enough, just repeat that exercise.
3 – Prioritize Self-Care
This is on the same spirit as the previous point. I took this tip from Alice Calin at hubgets.com.
When you feel you can’t deal with so many choices because decision fatigue overwhelms you, self-care becomes a pivotal point.
Self-care is not just resting. Is also having and healthy diet, having exercise, taking time for yourself. You won’t be able to recover stably from decision fatigue if you won’t insert self-care in your current lifestyle habits.
4 – Reduce The Number Of Decisions
If so many choices are too much for you, just reduce the number of decisions you make every day. We can do this by creating habits and routines.
We have already seen that programmed decision-making is a very good strategy to overcome decision fatigue.
When something becomes a habit, we no longer have to make a conscious decision. You don’t have to choose to brush your teeth in the morning. It’s just something you do. Find ways to incorporate routines and habits into your day. Spin through the same handful of outfits and create a meal plan, for Example.
5 – Cut Out Decisions
When you have a lot of choices, another great option is to cut decisions out of your life that you don’t have to make. You can delegate tasks to someone else or remove a redundant project. Examine what you are doing at work and see how many potential future decisions you can completely cut out of your life. Interference suppression is a good example at home.
6 – Simplify
Simplification will help you to overcome so many choices. When you donate or throw away unwanted or unused items, you no longer have to worry about where to keep or keep them. Simplicity is a mindset that allows saving energy, and devolving the energy you have to something more important.
So, make a list of what you have to do and see if throwing something away will make things simpler.
So Many Choices? Getting Forward
These strategies are sometimes little, sometimes bigger things. Nevertheless, when you are experiencing troubles making decisions, they add up quickly and help you avoid decision fatigue in the future and put your life to a different level, because everything is happening today in your life comes out from your past decisions and how you are employing your energy every day.
Look at the tips above, choose the easier two, concentrate on the simpler and smaller changes and try them out. Having so many choices will no longer seem so hard anymore.
See you next time!