Making decisions is an integral part of our daily lives.
We make hundreds, if not thousands of decisions each day—from what to wear to what to have for lunch and even how to respond in a difficult situation.
But did you know that making too many decisions can actually lead to fatigue?
That’s right: decision fatigue is real, and it can take a toll on your energy levels as well as your productivity.
In this blog post, we’ll explore why making decisions makes us so tired and discuss ways you can combat decision fatigue so you don’t end up exhausted at the end of the day.
Why Does Making Decisions Make Us Tired?
You may not feel it initially, but the more decisions you make, the more difficult it becomes to stay focused and motivated.
This is because each decision requires energy from our brains—even small ones. Every time we choose between two options, our brain needs to sort through the variables and determine which one is best for us. This process uses up a lot of energy and can leave us feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.
Furthermore, having to make too many decisions can lead to a phenomenon called decision paralysis (also known as analysis paralysis), which is when we become so overwhelmed by our choices that it’s impossible for us to reach a conclusion.
So, if you find yourself making the same decisions over and over (or avoiding any decision altogether), then you may be suffering from decision fatigue.
The Larger Implications of Decision Fatigue
At first glance, decision fatigue may seem like a minor annoyance — but it can actually have a much bigger impact on your life.
Exhaustion from making decisions can lead to poor performance at work, relationship problems, and even physical ailments such as headaches or chronic stress. In short, if you’re not taking steps to manage decision fatigue, then it can have a serious impact on your overall wellbeing.
Additionally, decision fatigue has been linked to increased risk-taking behaviors and impulsive decisions. When we’re too tired to make wise choices, we’re more likely to act rashly, which can result in disastrous consequences down the line.
5 Ways to Combat Decision Fatigue
Studies by psychologists have shown that the brain can only retain about 7 pieces of information at a time, and when it’s faced with too many choices it can become overloaded. For this reason, a quick hack to get more spring to your step and more energy back in your day is to reduce the number of decisions you have to make.
There’s several ways to go about this…
1. Create a Routine and Systems
One way is to create a routine and stick with it. This helps save you time and energy in the long run, as you don’t have to keep deciding what to do each day. Additionally, create systems for recurring tasks and decisions.
To get started: spend 15 minutes making a list of every decision you have to make during the day and put them in order from most to least important. This will help you prioritize your workload and prevent fatigue-inducing decision overwhelm.
2. Automate Your Decisions
Another great way to save energy is to automate as many decisions as possible. For example, you could use an app to order groceries or create a playlist of your favourite songs for when you need an energizing pick-me-up.
I’m by no means a business automation expert, but some suggestions include things like setting up automated email reminders, using a tool to track deadlines and tasks, or using voice recognition software for dictation.
To get started: Spend 5 minutes listing decisions to automate, such as weekly grocery orders or social media posting. Then, use the remaining time to research services like Instacart for groceries or Buffer for social media management and sign up for a trial or subscription.
3. Outsource / Delegate Decisions
Another trick is to outsource decisions or delegate them whenever possible. If there are certain choices that someone else can make for you, then let them do it and free yourself up to focus on more important things.
One thing you can do is create a “decision-making committee” made up of trusted friends or colleagues. This way, you can consult them on certain decisions and get an outside perspective, which can help reduce decision fatigue.
To get started: Spend 5 minutes listing tasks that can be delegated, such as marketing strategy or content creation. Then, use the remaining time to reach out via email or phone to colleagues or freelancers who can help alleviate your decision-making burden.
4. Set Limits
Set limits for yourself when making choices. Try to limit your options to just two or three so that you don’t become overwhelmed by too many possibilities. This way you can make a decision faster and with less fatigue.
Similar to the “decision-making committee” suggestion above, you can ask others for help with narrowing down your options. Ask someone who knows you well to give you advice or their opinion — their input may help you reach a decision more quickly.
To get started: Spend 5 minutes identifying an upcoming decision, such as selecting a new project management tool. Use the next 5 minutes to research and narrow down your options to two or three choices. Finally, spend the remaining time discussing your options with a trusted colleague to gain their insight and perspective.
5. Identify Areas of Decision Making
In addition to the above strategies, it can be helpful to identify which areas of your life require the most decision-making. By understanding where you’re making most of your decisions, you can focus on optimizing those areas to reduce fatigue.
For example, if you’re constantly making decisions about your personal finances, then you could set up a budget to help streamline the process.
Here are some of the common areas where people spend too much energy making decisions:
- What to wear each day
- What to eat for breakfast and lunch
- Which tasks to prioritize
- How to respond in difficult situations
- Who to hang out with and when (what invitations to say yes or no to)
- Where to go on vacation
Of course, this list is just a starting point. When it comes to decision fatigue, every person and every situation is different.
The important thing is to identify what’s causing your fatigue and then come up with a plan of action to make those decisions easier in the future. By reducing decision fatigue in this way, you can free up your brainpower which can help you focus better on more important tasks.
Unlocking Energy Is The Key To Supercharging Your Success
When you don’t have to spend as much time and energy on making decisions, you can put that energy into what really matters — which is taking action.
You’ll have the clarity to make smarter decisions, the focus to stay on task and get things done, and the energy to take your success to the next level.
And that’s the truth behind people’s success – it’s not necessarily that they have more time or resources than the rest of us, it’s just that they know how to make better use of their energy.
That’s why I created my 5 Must-Address Areas to Supercharge Your Success guide. It’s free to download, only 3 pages long and in it, I talk about:
- The 5 crucial energy batteries that power your high performance
- The tell-tale signs each of your energy batteries need a recharge
- The WRONG way that most women charge their batteries (and leads them to unsustainable short-term results)
- The correct sequence to getting your energy back on track sustainably
It’s about a 10-minute read, and I promise it’ll be worth your time.
So go ahead, download this free guide and discover how to unlock the energy that’s been trapped inside you all this time!
If there’s one decision worth making today, it’s this one. You won’t regret it.