Decision fatigue is something that is becoming more and more prominent in the modern world. We are now presented with so many options, so many different ways of doing things, that it can become overwhelming.
It’s often that we reach the middle of the afternoon and feel totally exhausted from the conscious and unconscious decisions we are constantly making. However, managing and overcoming decision fatigue can be done and only requires a few small changes in your life.
The decision-making detox by HelloFresh outlines an effective strategy for reducing the amount of food-related decisions we agonise over each day. This works to help people overcome the stress of deciding what to eat for dinner and whether or not their choices are healthy.
Limit your food choices
The food and drink we put into our bodies represent a huge share of the decisions we make on a daily basis. The more time we spend agonising over food choices the easier it becomes for us to resort to convenient yet unhealthy takeaway options.
We are constantly bombarded by advertising messages from fast-food companies and confectionary brands that are almost impossible to avoid. This makes it incredibly hard to resist the unhealthy options that we are surrounded by every time we leave the house.
The best way to overcome this is to devise a meal plan that records what you are going to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner each weekday. The simply act of creating a plan at all means you are far more likely to stick with a healthy choice and ignore the temptation of fast-food. Organising your kitchen to make it easier for healthy eating to become a habit will also help you.
Define and embrace a routine
A routine is a great way of reducing the daily decisions that you need to make. Any routine, after a while, eventually eradicates the need for your brain to make any mundane decisions as they have become habitual.
Having the same breakfast, wearing the same clothes to work and going to the same café for lunch each day makes for a routine that limits the decisions you are confronted with. For example, by making a healthy café part of your routine you are eliminating the competing choices for where to eat.
Focus on your goals
Focusing on your goals is one way to ensure that you are productive and are able to get things done on time. By limiting your focus to your goals you reduce the available distractions and enable yourself to make better decisions.
Having a specific goal in mind helps you to narrow your focus on the decisions that are going to be most influential in achieving said goal. Fewer decisions will obviously reduce your decision fatigue and will ultimately improve your quality of work and the speed with which you complete it.
Plan days for productivity
Know what is ahead of you before you start each day and schedule lots of small work together so you can get it all out of the way. Planning for the next day the night before will reduce the decisions that need to be made and improve the quality of your day.
Set time aside for creativity, meetings and breaks so that you don’t have to make these decisions on the go throughout the day, reducing productivity and clouding your thoughts. It also helps you to finish tasks on time as you are now under a time pressure that forces you to work efficiently.
Embrace your own decisions
When you make a decision, don’t dwell on it. Know that you are making the right decision at the time based on the information that you have. There is no point in agonising over a decision once you have made it.
Yes, it might be important to consider the consequences of a decision, but don’t waste time worrying once you have made it. By doing this you will end up spending less time dwelling on each decision as you simply have confidence in yourself that you made the best possible choice given your circumstances.
Limit your options
All of the above points ultimately can be summed up by limiting your options. Too many options will obviously make things overwhelming and you may be unsure of which direction is the right way to go. This is not to say that you want to completely remove all your options, because there are still instances where careful thought is required to make the best decision.
Decision fatigue can end up wearing you out, leaving you unproductive and unmotivated. Starting your days with fewer decisions gives you a greater degree of mental freedom and really lets you enjoy the moment more. Taking the above tips on board will help you to make smarter lifestyle choices so that you don’t become overwhelmed by decision making. All of this will leave you with more time, less stress and a more fulfilled quality of life, especially if you also make other small changes to boost your energy.