Decision fatigue: What it is and how to overcome it
Decision-making isn't easy as it consumes a lot of time and energy. Our brain sometimes, to cut out its energy losses, refuses to make decisions. Eventually, you make choices in haste or simply give up. This, in an essence, is what decision fatigue is. If you keep experiencing decision fatigue and want to help yourself overcome it, implement the following five strategies.
What is decision fatigue?
We spend an enormous time making decisions big and small every waking minute. Every decision requires time and energy which depletes our willpower. Decision fatigue happens when your decision-making abilities get impaired either as a result of making continuously bad decisions or having too many choices. In short, you simply experience decision paralysis and are unable to make efficient decisions.
Follow a strict routine
Research says that a human, on average, makes more than thousands of decisions throughout the day. Once that limit is reached, the brain's capability to work efficiently gets reduced. Why waste your limited decision-making capacity over making banal decisions like what to have for breakfast or what to wear to the office? Having a routine helps you do away with decisions, especially those trivial.
Make binary decisions
Unable to decide which jam to pick from the 20 varieties kept on the shelf when out shopping? If you often get stuck in such situations, you have been making decisions the wrong way. To simplify, leverage the information available and reduce those to just two options. Whether the jam suits your taste, or whether it has sustainable packaging or not? Easy, right?
We often tend to procrastinate when making difficult decisions. This is one of the core reasons why we are affected by decision fatigue. To prevent this, set deadlines for your decisions. Be it 10 minutes, a day, a week, or a month, depending on how big the decision is. Knowing there's a fixed deadline to make your decision helps you keep yourself accountable.
Eliminate self-doubt and perfectionism
Our tendency to do things perfectly and second-guess ourselves every time keeps us away from making decisions efficiently. It's better to make that decision than to wallow in regret about the time wasted. Most likely, the decision you would take will turn out as good as any other choices you would have made otherwise. Once you've taken the decision, focus on making it great.
Take breaks for snacking
Taking frequent breaks helps a lot in improving your mental energy. Decide beforehand when you are going to take breaks and how frequently. Use these breaks to eat healthy energy-sustaining snacks. When your stomach is full, you are likely to have a bit more energy. This helps you focus better, improves productivity, and fosters your decision-making abilities.