Decision Fatigue: The Problem You Didn’t Know You Had


Before you decided to read this blog, you probably made several decisions already.

What time to wake up this morning…


What to wear for the day…


What to eat for breakfast…


What needs to be crossed off of your to-do list…


Which route to take to get to your destination…


Those are just a few of the ordinary choices we make each day.  Many of us make them so often, we don’t realize that doing so requires a level of concentration that affects our brains.


Have you heard of decision fatigue?  Decision fatigue is described as the inability to make good decisions after a long period of decision making.


Over time, one’s ability to make sound choices diminishes until eventually, choices are made without much thought at all.  By the end of the day, work is approached from a “whatever happens, happens” mentality.  


As women, we typically juggle a lot.  We’re building empires, raising children, being significant others and taking everything else that comes our way.  Those things are amazing!


...but how much of it are we doing well?


With so many competing priorities it is easy to begin to make poor decisions somewhere in the process which can potentially be damaging to our lives and personal business.  It is so important to be aware of where we place our focus and attention.


Here are a few ways to help reduce the effects of decision fatigue:

  1. Plan Ahead -  Make as many small decisions as possible the day before (or as far in advance as it makes sense) so that you have less to choose from each day.
    1. Put out your clothes and/or children’s clothes the night before.  Not only will this be one less thing to decide on, but it will also shave a little time off of searching for socks and trying to find your favorite top in the morning!
    2. Pack your lunch in advance.  If you meal plan, this is probably something you do weekly.  For others, if you bring leftovers for lunch, pack it up after everyone has eaten.  Otherwise, take a few extra minutes the night before to make your lunch and have it ready for the morning.  Doing this can prevent random trips to grab fast food because convenience seems like an easier option!
    3. Put anything you need to take with you by the door.  How many of us walk out of the house, get in our cars and down the street before we realize we left something at home?  Or, find ourselves late getting to places because we needed an extra 10 minutes to find our keys, bags, laptops, etc? Another small way to plan ahead is to gather everything you need for the next day and put it by the door or some other location you’ll see on your way out.  This may not be a direct decision to make, but it will potentially prevent wasted time and frustration at the start of your day.

  1. Reach Resolutions Fast - Another way to tire out the mind is by hashing out the same scenarios and thoughts over and over again.  Repetitive thinking on a scenario becomes worry. Worry impacts clear thought processes. To combat this, practice reaching a decision about something quickly.  Decide whatever it is you need to decide and stick with it to the end. In many cases, coming to a conclusion fast is better than ruminating too long.

  1. Take A Break - Whenever you start to feel yourself become tired, take a few moments to step away from whatever you’re working on or doing and clear your head.  Breathe, take a second to do something that doesn’t require much thought, and give yourself a moment.  

The silent trouble with decision fatigue is that people don’t always realize it is a problem.  We don’t notice that the constant need to decide can effectively diminish the quality of a decision.  


While we’re working, building, and being amazing Educated Qweens, let’s practice some mental self-care to protect our cognitive capacities.  We owe it to ourselves to show up clear and focused each day!

 

By: Danada Hart

 

Danada Hart is a blog contributor for Educated Qween.  She is the Owner and Operator of Essential Business Solutions where she helps women discover their strengths and skills to find better jobs. Danada also has a faith-based blog called Lipstick Theology, which was created to encourage women to discover the beauty in God’s word.  She is a mom of two girls, from Indianapolis who always seeks to encourage self-care, personal growth, and career development.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading, binge-watching Netflix :) and discovering new things to do with her family.Danada Hart is a blog contributor for Educated Qween.  She is the Owner and Operator of Essential Business Solutions where she helps women discover their strengths and skills to find better jobs. Danada also has a faith-based blog called Lipstick Theology, which was created to encourage women to discover the beauty in God’s word.  She is a mom of two girls, from Indianapolis who always seeks to encourage self-care, personal growth, and career development. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, binge-watching Netflix :) and discovering new things to do with her family.