Don’t let decision fatigue get you down

You’re sitting there, staring at your phone, thinking: boy, I should really get to work on that project. Twenty minutes later, you’re still plopped on your bed staring at your screen wondering why you are so fascinated by that delicious food you will never make but looks so good…

You might be suffering from decision fatigue. Decision fatigue is a mental condition that impacts everyone at one time or another. 

It happens when your brain is overloaded by the number of decisions you have made that day. It doesn’t have to be a big decision; simple things like what to wear, or what to have for breakfast add up quickly. 

As your brain is used throughout the day, the quality of your decision-making declines. The hundreds of tiny decisions you made this morning may come back to bite you when you are trying to figure out whether the right answer is A, B or C. 

You may also feel the effects in the afternoon, trying so hard to just decide to finish that assignment, and all you want to do is plop. 

What can you do? What is the solution to decision fatigue? 

The first step is simplifying your morning routine. Instead of staring at your wardrobe for minutes every morning, plan out what you will wear the night before. 

If you want to get simpler than that, you could plan out a week’s rotation of outfit, then you just have to remember what day of the week it is. Some individuals have taken this to the next level and wear a “uniform” wardrobe—they wear the exact same thing every day. The same concept can be applied to hair and makeup styles.

Meal choices are another way you can save decision-making energy. 

By pre-planning (or even pre-preparing) breakfast, not only do you insure you actually get the most important meal of the day, you also save precious decision juice. When I go to the cafeteria, I just ask for some of everything at the main counter (unless I know I don’t like something), then I make sure I get my veggies and have decisions left over for my next test. 

So, when you go to the Cafeteria or the Grille, take advantage of the pre-made decisions and ask for the special. Try a little bit of everything. Who knows, you might like it. 

Keep an eye out for ways you can simplify your routine and build in some pre-made decisions. Then your brain can be fresh for those quizzes, assignments and just deciding to do something.

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