How to Stop Being Overwhelmed with Decision Fatigue. Simple Steps to Take Control of Your Life.

mental health May 05, 2019

This blog is the start of a new series that’s all about simplicity. That’s cutting things down and making life easier. This post specifically is going to focus on decision fatigue. Next week we’re going to move into mega-batching and how to consolidate activities. The following week is about the highest leverage tasks that you can do- you’ll want to do these first thing. Then, we’ll wrap up the series with how to Marie Kondo your business in four easy steps.

Let’s dive into decision fatigue. If you haven’t heard of this concept before it’s the idea that you have so many things going on in a day that you get burned out. You get completely overwhelmed by all of the small decisions that you need to make in a day. I don’t know about you, but I know there’s always a ton of things going on in my day. Between my business and my personal life, I have a lot on the go. The buzz-word is to be “busy.” When you ask how someone is, they often respond with, “busy.” Let’s banish the busy. Let’s get it out of our vocabulary. Let’s simplify things and get rid of decision fatigue as much as we can.

I want you to start by thinking about all of the things that you manage in a day. All of the decisions that you need to make. In your personal life that may be things like food. Managing what’s in your fridge. What’s in your pantry? What do you need to buy for groceries? Think about all of the things related to food. What do are you going to cook? What do you need to buy? That’s a lot of decisions just around food.

Think about what your closet looks like. How many clothes are in it? How many shoes do you own? How many jacket? Pants? Shirts? There’s lots of things in the clothes department that you have to manage.

Then think about what you have in terms of cosmetics or grooming. What do you have for makeup, hair products or body products? What do your drawers and cupboard look like? 

I’m almost like a kid in a candy store when help someone de-clutter their house. I’m always amazed when their drawers are overflowing with so many things that aren’t even being used or appreciated.

What can you simplify and remove from of your life? Can you reduce the number of cleaning products? If you have kids, what toys can you get rid of? Or if you have a dog, what dog toys can you eliminate? I’m always shocked at the number of dog toys you can accumulate over a short period of time. 

In your business, what are the business things that you can simplify? Perhaps that’s your files. Or the projects that you’re working on. Or the list of new ideas that you want to accomplish.

To reduce decision fatigue, you want to open up the space for possibility. You want to try to reduce the number of decisions that you need to make in a day. You want to de-clutter all the things that are going on. Cut down on the number of simple decisions you need to make. They may not seem simple initially. Should you get this brand of mushrooms or a different one? Which one is cheaper? Which one tastes better? It’s easy to get bogged down with little decisions or factors that come into play. Who cares what kind of mushrooms it is. The little things really don’t matter in the large scheme of things. Yet we can get overwhelmed with them.

The less decisions that you need to make in a day, the better. Spend the time initially to make a decision and then stick with that brand. Decide how you manage your files and then do the same thing every time. Come up with a system for how to do each of your projects, then be consistent. Simplify that process and cut down on the number of decision you need to make in a day.

When you can simplify your decisions, you’ll create more space. You’ll notice an increase in energy. It’s naturally going to go up for you. You’ll feel less weighed down. You’ll have less wasted effort. Less mindless decisions that occupy your time and brain power. 

Give this shift a try. Think about where you can start to simplify. What decisions can you reduce in your personal and business life? Find one area to start with. Then chip away at a different area each day or each week until you’ve simplified most areas in your life. Let me know how it works for you and what you notice as a result.

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