Do you ever feel drained by the very thought of making another decision? There’s a name for the depletion of energy that comes from weighing and making constant decisions: Decision fatigue. It can be caused by having a lot of responsibilities and a lot of opportunities. “Do I take the job offer, or stay put? It can also be caused by having a lack of resources, which forces you to carefully consider every single expenditure. “Should I buy gas so I can get to work – or do I pay the light bill?”
So, whether your good decision-making has led to an abundance of opportunity and responsibility, or difficult times have led to a series of very difficult decisions and tradeoffs, it is important to be aware of the impact multiple decisions has on your energy and psyche. Here are a few signs you might be dealing with decision fatigue:
- You get irritated by routine inquiries.
- You get stuck making small decisions.
- You daydream about shirking all of your responsibilities.
- You consistently delay decisions.
- You find yourself making bad decisions because you don’t have the mental energy to carefully consider the pros and cons.
If any of these describe you, make a list of the various decisions you have on your plate right now. Be sure to include both stressful or big decisions (life changes, educational choices, financial decisions, etc.) as well as small ones (deciding who to invite to an upcoming party or the new hairdresser you’re going to try). Then take one of the four following actions – and do the same with any decisions that pop up throughout your day, no matter how large or small:
- Delay the decision.
Sometimes you need more information or the decision simply is not that urgent. When either is the case, move the decision to a specific date or time on your calendar in the future. That way, you can take it off of your mind and rest assured you’ll get to it at an appointed time. If it is more information you need, get the ball rolling to get the info you need.
- Delete the decision.
Some decisions on your to-do list aren’t important any more. They’ll fill up your time, but are not purposeful. Eliminate them.
- Delegate the decision.
One of the most important moves you can make to eliminate decision fatigue is to stop requiring every decision to go through you. Teach others how to make important decisions – whether your kids, team members at work, or even your spouse. Micromanaging is a straight path to decision fatigue.
- Make the decision.
Have you been holding off on a decision it’s actually time to make? There is no time like the present. If you’ve pondered it, researched it, gotten quiet so you can hear that still, small voice guide you, then move forward. Make the decision. Refuse to let fear cause you to procrastinate any longer. It’s time.
My challenge to you this week:
Make a list of decisions currently on your plate, and for each one, take one of four actions: Delay it, delete it, delegate it or decide it.
Journal about it:
What are all of the decisions currently on your radar? For each decision, which of the four actions above will you take?
The post Tell-Tale Signs You Have “Decision Fatigue” and What to Do About It appeared first on Valorie Burton.
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