What’s decision fatigue and how to combat it’s tiring effect

decision fatigue
Photo by Burst on Unsplash

Decision fatigue increases throughout the day with each new decision you have to make, It’s the act of growing tired of navigating life’s choices and the consequences are startling.

Decision fatigue makes you more likely to pick up a candy bar in the checkout line. And studies show that as the day goes on, we make riskier and more rash decisions.

On the flip side, if you’re more avoidant you may make no decision at all.

Both outcomes have negative affects on our lives. Worst of all, they make us doubt ourselves, feeling shame over our poor or non-existent decisions.

Knowing how to avoid decision fatigue will improve your choices. Best of all, it will raise your self-respect and sense of competence.

Here are 9 ways to reduce decision fatigue.

1. Plan your meals.

Knowing in advance what you’ll make for dinner reduces decision fatigue at the time when it’s worst. Late in the day and while hungry are the least optimal times to make decisions.

2. Keep standing appointments.

Make the next doctor or dentist appointment when you’re leaving the office.

Have set days and times when you exercise instead of deciding each day whether or when to do it. Refusing to pencil it in could be the biggest reason we neglect our commitment to work out.

3. Eat at the same time to avoid decision fatigue.

Having set meal times simplifies life. You could even eat the same breakfast or lunch each day. Then use your meal planning schedule for dinner.

4. Have a sleep routine.

When you have a set bedtime, you avoid the late night streaming binges which are no good for you anyway. Keeping to a regular sleep and wake cycle is excellent for overall health and well-being.

decision fatigue

5. Set a timer to reduce decision fatigue.

I use the Pomodoro timer throughout the day to stay on task. And allot a set amount of time each day for social media. After that, I don’t spend time considering whether it’s a good time to check my DMs.

6. Minimalize.

Edit your closet so you have a few favorite pieces that you wear over and over. It’s reported that Einstein wore the same outfit every day to reduce decision fatigue.

Streamline your possessions. The fewer things you own, the less choice you have to make about what to use. Less clutter in the home, less clutter in the brain.

7. Keep a daily schedule.

A to-do list reduces decision fatigue by letting you know what you need to get done that day. Keep it to 3-5 items and enjoy a healthy sense of accomplishment each day.

8. Shop with a list to reduce decision fatigue.

Most of us know the value of grocery shopping with a list. Studies show we spend up to 30% more when we shop without a list.

But, how many of us go to the mall with a list? Well, research has proven that retail shopping creates massive decision fatigue.

Consider going with a goal in mind of what you want to buy. And resist going to the mall for retail therapy.

9. Know your values.

Knowing what’s important to you will help reduce decision fatigue. When we have a clear view of our likes and dislikes, deciding what to say yes or no to becomes a no-brainer.

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