How do I deal with ‘decision fatigue’?

How do I deal with 'decision fatigue'?

There are a lot of decisions you have to make every day, whether you work or stay at home. One of the biggest problems with the need to make so many decisions is that it can feel overwhelming. That can lead to decision fatigue, and that fatigue can stop you from making good choices. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce decision fatigue and allow for better choices that can be made more easily. Here’s what to consider, so those day-to-day decisions won’t get you down.

1. Plan Your Day the Night Before

Plan Your Day the Night Before

If you know what you plan to do the next day before you go to bed at night, you won’t be “thinking on your feet” so much that next day. Sure, something can go wrong or require you to make a change. But in most cases, you can focus on the tasks at hand and avoid getting fatigued about the kinds of decisions you have to make. The best thing to do during your evening is to be sure you’re ready for the morning. That way you can sleep well at night, and accomplish your goals during the day.

2. Begin With the Most Important Decisions

Even if you don’t want to tackle the biggest decisions on your list first, doing that means you’ll get all the main choices made. Then you can get to the smaller decisions after that, and if you don’t get to them you could find that they really weren’t very important. In some cases, you put off big decisions because you don’t want to get them wrong. In other cases, it could be because it seems easier to make a lot of little decisions first, so you can cross a lot of things off your “to do” list. But those big decisions will always be hanging over you, making you tired and weighing you down, if you don’t get them out of the way first.

3. Set Deadlines for Your Decisions

Set Deadlines for Your Decisions

No matter what kinds of decisions you have to make or tasks you have to accomplish, you need to have deadlines for them. That way they get done, and you won’t keep putting them off. If you have a big decision to make you’ll need to collect information for it. But don’t get stuck in the information collecting process. After a certain point, you’ve learned everything that’s really important to you. Then you’ll want to map out the goal you desire and plan the steps you need to take in reverse order, so you know where to start. That gets you started working toward your goal, once your decision has been made.

4. Streamline Your Organizing Routine

The more streamlined and organized your life is, the fewer decisions you’ll need to make. That’s good news when you want to avoid decision fatigue. Ideally, you want to make only important or unique decisions. Your day-to-day life should be nearly decision-free, allowing you to accomplish more. You can automate quite a bit of what you do, and that way you won’t have to think about all the little things like paying bills, or even getting groceries or supplies you’d buy on a regular basis. Fewer small decisions means more time for the big ones that matter.

5. Record Your Decisions and Tasks in a Planner

Record Your Decisions and Tasks in a Planner

You need to know what you’re doing in the short-term, along with what you plan to do in the long-term, for future reference. If you don’t have your tasks and decisions recorded, you might not be prepared for course corrections or adjustments you need to make to stay on track. You’ll also want to revisit your goals and decisions from time to time, to see how close you’re getting to your plans and stay motivated. It’s not always easy to stick with a decision, even if it’s the right one. Seeing it as a reminder can help.

6. Limit Your Options to Reduce Fatigue

When you have too many options, you struggle to make a decision. That’s normal, but it can also be very frustrating. It’s like having a closet full of clothing and not knowing what to wear. The more decisions you have to make, the harder it becomes to make one decision. That’s because too many choices leads to second-guessing yourself. You can avoid that — and avoid decision fatigue — when you limit the options you have to choose from. You can make a decision more easily, and get closer to your goals faster.

Kylie Browne

Kylie is our friendly Community Manager. Organizing advocate. 80s music fan. Busy Mom. Amateur over thinker. Thrives on coffee and chocolate.

One thought on “How do I deal with ‘decision fatigue’?

  1. Vera says:

    While setting deadlines, also leave room for rest and know that you are human. Do not beat yourself up if you fail to meet with all of your plans and their respective deadlines.

    Thanks for the ideas.

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