Overcome Decision Fatigue
With each and every decision we make regardless of how big or small it may be, our willpower slightly decreases. You’ve probably noticed on days that you make a plethora of decisions you’re left feeling mentally exhausted (and more often than not end up making some questionable decisions!) I speak from experience. Decision fatigue has set in.
Willpower is like a muscle, with each passing rep (each decision you make) fatigue begins to set in.
Follow my 5 quick tips to reduce decision fatigue and you’ll be left feeling more energetic and will be able to make better decisions where it counts (which can eliminate problems such as binge eating, frivolous spending and other poor decisions made after a long day of decision making).
Make Vital Decisions Early
Early in the day (a couple of hours after waking) your determination and willpower is at its highest. Instead of squandering these early hours of the morning on pointless time consuming tasks such as checking your emails or browsing social media opt to start the day with the heavy hitting decisions that need to be made. By tackling your major decisions with this strategy you’ll be able to make the best possible decision as you’ll be well rested, focused and will not be running on empty in your decision bank.
Do Not Put Off For Tomorrow That Which Can Be Done Today
Before retiring for the evening set yourself up for success for the following day. Before going to bed I consistently prepare my gym clothes and pack my bag for my early morning workout, I review my diary and write down the 3 – 5 things I need to accomplish the following day (and I put this in a spot where I’ll see it as soon as I get out of bed).
The key here is to eliminate as many small, unnecessary decisions as possible – by either performing them in advance or by not having to make them at all which leads to my next tip…
Simplify Your Life
The fewer choices you have the better. Living a minimalistic, Spartan life is efficient. Why overcomplicate things? Cut all unnecessary decisions out of your life. If you own 3 cars or 10 pairs of shoes you’re going to be stressed and fatigued to a certain degree just by the decision making process for such miniscule, trivial options (resulting in the potential of bad decision making where it counts).
Now, I’m not advocating wearing the same shirt and pants every day of the year but I believe in identifying and eliminating unnecessary options to free up cash, anxiety and brainpower to focus on and crush the tasks that matter.
Should You Eat Prior To Making Decisions?
When researching decision fatigue a large number of sources advocate eating prior to making decisions (due to poor decision making tying in with low glucose levels). I personally find myself making my best decisions when in a fasted state as I have more energy to focus on the decision at hand – productivity and decision making for me go out the window after consuming a big meal (like a lion, upon being fed becomes lazy). I’m curious to hear your take on this as the research performed is not always conclusive.
Successful People Understand Decision Fatigue
Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs (RIP) and Barrack Obama may get ridiculed for wearing the same clothes on a daily basis, but they understand decision fatigue – a trivial decision such as what you’re going to wear to the office each day needs to be eliminated as decisions, regardless of how small are like fatiguing reps – your willpower muscle need remain strong for those heavy power sets (big decisions).
Obama on decision fatigue:
‘You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits’ [Obama] said.
‘I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.’ He mentioned research that shows the simple act of making decisions degrades one’s ability to make further decisions.
President Jose Mujica (Uraguay) on decision fatigue/clothing choice:
I’m an enemy of consumerism. Because of this hyperconsumerism, we’re forgetting about fundamental things and wasting human strength on frivolities that have little to do with human happiness.
Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, both wildly successful visionaries opted to wear the exact same clothes on a daily basis. They cannot afford mental fatigue.