Tips to Decrease Decision Fatigue

Selection of morning drinks - several teas, coffees, and chocolate

Imagine this: When you wake up on a Monday morning, what are you going to have for breakfast – some toast, pancakes, or oatmeal? What will you be drinking – coffee or tea? What will you be wearing to work? Does this black top look better than this blue one? Which bag will you use today?

You haven’t left your home yet, and you already had to make at least 5 decisions already – and that is in an oversimplified scenario. Research shows that the average adult American makes 35,000 decisions a day. How tiring does that sound? No wonder after making so many choices, we eventually decrease our energy and start making poor decisions. This is also known as decision fatigue. By the time you’d have to decide whether you would like to exercise or not after work, you would probably choose to skip it.

Here are a few ways to save your mental energy and decrease decision fatigue:

1. Limit your choices

So many clothes, but nothing to wear. Sound familiar? If we have too many options, it makes it more difficult to make a choice. This is one of the benefits of minimalism. By owning just enough stuff that you love, you limit your choices and decision-making becomes a lot easier. Establishing daily routines can also be helpful, as this allows some decisions – such as “should I attend yoga class today?” – to be set to autopilot.

2. Plan the night before

Spend 5 minutes at night to decide on what you’re having for breakfast, and what you’ll be wearing the next day. Do some prepping if you need to. Having a plan on your mind when you wake up the following day makes your morning go more smoothly.

3. Take a break

You might have heard about a study conducted about judicial rulings on whether a criminal would be released on parole. The results show that favorable rulings were made in the morning, and as the judges become more drained throughout the day, favorable results dropped steadily, until the judges had a food break later in the day where the number of favorable rulings went up again. So take a quick break, especially before making a big decision.

4. Delegate some decisions, if you can

If you are a perfectionist, then this can be difficult to do. However, remember that we cannot do everything, as much as we want to. Now, this may not be applicable in your work, but this can be helpful in other areas, such as your home. Maybe ask someone else to plan for breakfast, while you plan for dinner.

By simplifying your life, you would be conserving your energy on making decisions that really matter. Good luck! 👍

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