DECISION FATIGUE: WHAT IT IS AND 5 WAYS TO FIX IT
Do you ever get to the end of the working day and find yourself getting all tetchy and stressed when trying to make even the simplest of decisions, such as what to make yourself for dinner? Well you may be struggling with decision fatigue and given the amount of choices thrown at us, from the very big to the very small everyday of our busy working lives it's really no surprise.
By the end of a long or particularly intense period of constant decision making, be that at work or at home on a hectic day, our ability to make quality and worthwhile choices starts to become seriously impaired. We struggle to stay in the present and to take the right option because we've started to reach our limit. Making good decisions becomes tricky, even with the small things, as fatigue sets in and our clarity of thought deteriorates.
This is when we can start to make unproductive and unhealthy choices for ourselves, leading us to question our willpower. It's at this time that we will often be drawn into taking the easier option because we're just too tired to do the things that we know we should, like make a healthy dinner, go to the gym, avoid that next glass of wine and the unnecessary online shopping!
Recognising that this is an issue means we can do a few simple things to help ourselves avoid such fatigue and to keep our willpower and good decision making under better check. So here I've gathered together a few top tips to help if you think this sounds like a problem for you.
5 WAYS TO COMBAT DECISION FATIGUE
1. Always Tackle The Biggest Problems At The Start Of The Day: Where possible always approach and work on decisions that require the most thought and energy, and that are the most complicated, at the start of your day before tiredness and fatigue has set in.
2. Forget The Perfectionist In You: Getting something done is usually better than getting nothing done. Sometimes you have to make a decision, run with it and do the best you can, instead of giving yourself extra headache trying to make everything perfect.
3. Go A Little More Minimalist And Simplify: When it comes to the smaller things like what to wear to work, what to eat for lunch, try to create simpler ready made routines that work for you. Don't give yourself too much choice. There's a reason why Steve Jobs wore the same black 'uniform' pretty much everyday of his life! Take away unnecessary complications so that you can focus on the more important things.
4. Learn To Recognise The Signs Of Fatigue And Replenish: If you are getting towards the end of the day and are still having to work through a number of problems, recognise the symptoms of tiredness and step away briefly to boost yourself. Hydrate with water and eat something that will lift your energy levels. Take a minute or two of calm and breathe before getting back to it.
5. Avoid Situations That Will Prove Tricky When You're Too Tired: If you can then avoid decision making situations at the end of the day when you're not in a good frame of mind. Things like a trip to the supermarket can become overcomplicated and stressful when you've just completely run out of steam and had enough. If it's urgent then of course it has to be done, otherwise try and save things like this for the weekends or for times when you're more likely to feel refreshed and ready to go.
So here's to trying to make better decisions in the future! Recognise the signs of tiredness and prioritise to avoid unwanted frustration. Leaving you in a better state of mind and more able to make sensible and clear choices that will be of far greater benefit. I hope the ideas above come in useful and have a great week everyone.
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