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Decision Fatigue

May 28, 2018

While listening to a podcast last week, I was introduced to the term “decision fatigue”.  This was a new term for me, and it immediately was something I could relate to.

There are times when I am just so exhausted from making decisions, that I get to the point, where I just don’t want, or on same days, can’t make any more decisions.  This is generally not connected to large decisions, but all the millions of tiny decisions that are and need to be made each day.  Decisions like which task to do next, which request is most urgent/important, who to make happy, to say “yes” or not to say “yes” to whatever request has come my way.  The list goes on and on.  And when it comes time to decide what to eat for dinner, I have reached my decision making quota for the day and no longer want to make that decision.  I am experiencing “decision fatigue”.

The podcast was focused on a specific topic, the idea of establishing a standardized vacation.  In this case, the standardized vacation idea included going on vacation the same dates each year, going to the same place, having a recurring plan on who does what, who prepares what, who picks what, maybe even eating the same meals (if you are camping or going to a cottage for example), etc…  This idea was routed in the idea, that when something involves a lot of decisions, sometimes we just don’t do it.  In addition, having a standardized vacation plan can also provide you with a break (aka vacation) from making decisions for a few days.

Whether the concept of a standardized vacation in particular resonates with you or not, the concept and ideas are worth considering if you are someone who experiences decision fatigue.  What parts of your life could you standardized to reduce the number of decisions that need to be made each day, week or month (e.g., making a weekly menu plan).  Are there parts of your life could you make routine to reduce the logistics type decisions and texts/emails (e.g., a partially standardized vacation, committing to seeing friends every other Friday night)?

What other ideas or examples do you have of ways you do or could reduce the risk of decision fatigue?

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