We make hundreds of decisions or choices every day. From what to eat for dinner to more complicated scenarios, everything that we do in our daily life is a decision that we have to make. We can’t say someone’s life choices are easier and less stressful based on their occupation. Most of the time, home staying moms have to make harder choices frequently than a person who is working in the stock market.
It’s natural to feel you are running out of the ability to make better decisions or better choices. However, if you feel overstress because of the endless number of decisions you have to make throughout the day, the main cause could be you are suffering from decision fatigue.
What is decision fatigue?
Decision Fatigue is the difficulty in making better decisions because of the number of decisions one needs to take.
According to The New York Times Magazine, “Decision fatigue helps explain why ordinarily sensible people get angry at colleagues and families, splurge on clothes, buy junk food at the supermarket and can’t resist the dealer’s offer to rustproof their new car. No matter how rational and high-minded you try to be, you can’t make decision after decision without paying a biological price”.
Tonya Hansel, PhD, director of the Doctorate of Social Work at Tulane University says, “when humans are overstressed, we become hasty or shut down altogether, and that stress plays a huge role in our behaviours”
What cause for decision fatigue?
Stress levels and the number of decisions that have to make are the significant causes for decision fatigue. Apart from this, there are other risk factors such as;
• feel greatly affected by the decisions they make
• make very complex decisions
• make decisions affecting other people in a significant way
What are the signs of decision fatigue?
• Brain fog
• Physical or mental fatigue
What are the effects of decision fatigue?
• Impulse purchasing
• Take longer time to make decisions
• Reluctant make trade-off decisions
• Ignore the situations that need to make decisions
How to combat decision fatigue?
- Prioritise your work
As you know, the decision making process is depleting our energy and the more you make decisions, the more your energy drains. Therefore, it’s better to make important decisions first by prioritising your work accordingly. Using a daily planner is the best way to do this. You don’t have to write down everything in books or papers. There are multiple digital materials out there that make your day easy and help you to improve productivity. You can download some digital journals from here according to your taste.
- Make plans ahead to minimise low-stakes decisions
When you plan things ahead, you can avoid a lot of situations that you need to make decisions. Licensed counsellor, Joe Martino says, what people don’t realize is that things that have very little impact on our lives can actually take a lot of decision energy. Try to limit those by choosing them the night before.”
One of the common areas that we all have experienced in our daily lives is deciding what to eat. But, if you practice meal planning, you will realise that how much energy you can save whenever you want to take a nice meal. Download simple and attractive digital meal planners from here. You can use them as both a digital planner and a printed planner.
- Maintain a daily routine
Having an already set up daily routine leads you to make the less general decisions in a day. Find out more about how to make an effective morning routine from here.
- Take breaks
Some people might simply make worse decisions when they are tired. Therefore, taking short breaks while you are working or taking power naps to refresh your brain is a good technique to avoid decision fatigue.
Apart from these tips, Healthline suggests allowing others to help you, keeping tabs on your mental and physical health and celebrating your good decisions may also help you to combat decision fatigue.
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