What is decision fatigue
Have you heard of decision fatigue? I feel like it’s something that I struggle with from time to time. But the basic gist is that as we must make a lot of decisions throughout our day and life, we get tired, and then we start to make poor decisions or just generally feel really stressed. I usually hear it talked about in connection with individuals who might run/own their own business, or manage a large team, a mother with kids going berserk or just not following the rules to get out the door on time or to anyone who must make a lot of decisions throughout their day. I can tell it’s something that many of my friends with young children go through. It seems to me that parenting a young child (or two, or three) can quickly double or triple the number of decisions you make throughout a day as being a parent puts you in the driver’s seat of not only your own life, but your kid’s, too.
I know I feel decision fatigue from running my life and trying to manage everything as best I can. I am by no means a company or business, but I still make a LOT of decisions every day and it’s one thing that others on and rely on me for. So, it’s important to me to minimize decision fatigue because it can lead to making bad decisions. I also think, for me, I sometimes feel like I use all my decision brain power working out my next move my life and children family commitments and exercise health the list goes on…. then I feel stressed by decisions I need to make in my personal life (even fun ones!). And since I know other people struggle with this as well, I’ve been trying to strategize to minimize decision fatigue in my life, and I’ve been trying to implement some of those same strategies in my own. Here are three—and I’d LOVE to hear any additional strategies you might know as well.
Eliminate unnecessary Decisions
Here are a couple of examples. So, one area that can be surprisingly time consuming (or even stressful) is getting dressed in the morning. Don’t get me wrong, I love looking my best as often as I can and styling myself but there are plenty of days when it just feels like another task to complete. You can make clothing capsules in your wardrobe space, designate areas for make up de clutter and make everything simple and accessible for easier and more time easy wardrobe/makeup choices, making it easier and faster to get ready in the morning, but still look amazing. So, you can save some decision power for your career, next move or just the fun task of dressing your children. Very cool! Another example is wearing the same thing most days and having different colors for every other day, so you can wash them as needed, that may work for many daily tasks and just simply wearing repetitive clothing of the same design ALL the time, eliminating the need to make this decision in the morning.
I like to prep things for breakfast and lunch even dinner for my Monday through Friday the best I can or during the weekend before. I’ve found that those are the meals that can stress me out during the week because even though I LOVE to cook I usually am extremely busy during these times too, and I like to have something healthy and already ready on hand, so I don’t have to make any decisions about breakfast or lunch. If your a smoothie drinking lady or gentleman making your green smoothie or pre freezing ingredients or pre-blended can make getting your morning smoothie fix more efficient
Rely on experts or professionals
I think this is a good strategy for those areas of your life that you care about but you may not be an expert in and maybe don’t ever plan to be. Ha. I’ll give you an example from my life to help illustrate this. One big goal in my personal life is to be healthy and strong. Of course, there are many aspects to health, and one area I try to work on is staying active and physically fit, through Group/Personal Training, I don’t really have an interest in becoming an expert in this area, as I am not a personal trainer, so I’ve found that one of the best options for me is to utilize the group fitness sessions available outdoors with a group of like minded women all with a common interest to be the best they can be physically. I do Boxing, Circuits, Pilates, GI Jane (2-5 times a week and Personal Training once a week, unless I am tied up with something I must attend. What time do I work out? The classes have a fixed morning schedules so my only decision there is to show up. What do we do in the classes? Well, it’s a variety of strength and core building and all-round amazing workouts to get you in shape, but all you need to know is just do exactly what the instructor tells you! No decisions needed except for levels suitable for you. There are so many days when I feel absolutely spent mentally and physically (in a good way, but still) and I love that I can just show up, follow along, and get a good workout. I don’t have to really think much at all. I rely on other’s expertise to help me achieve my goals in that area of my life.
Creating habits and routines that serve you
Personally, I love routines, I feel much more grounded in life when I have a to-do list, organization a daily routine keeps me on track. But that’s not to say I don’t love surprises and spontaneous moments in life too, especially when I’m just out with my little family going for a trip or picnic I love and adore those spontaneous moments with them, precious! . But here is one more big benefit from having awesome habits or routines: You can almost click into autopilot mentally and still stay on track for any goals you may have. Here’s a hypothetical situation: Say you have a goal that you want to read more, you love reading but in the last few months you just haven’t made time for it. Now it’s the end of a long day—maybe work or parenting was especially challenging this day. And you’re feel really, tired, but you have about an hour before you need to go to bed. If you don’t already have a plan or routine you might just sit down in front of the TV and watch something you don’t even really care about or sit down on the couch and just scroll your phone for a while, not even really enjoying the activity. BUT if you’ve started to make it a habit to read for a little bit before bed every night instead, you won’t need to decide about sitting in front of the TV or pulling out your phone. You can just go into autopilot and head to your bedroom with your book. And over time you’ll be reading more, and you’ll probably be happy about it. Habits and routines are useful tools, especially for those times we’re too tired to make decisions and we may end up making a poor choice simply because we are feeling so fatigued.
Please feel free to share your stories of decision fatigue and how you went about it, Cassie xox