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5 Ways to Beat Decision Fatigue

Beat Decision Fatigue

Beat Decision Fatigue Do you feel continuously stressed, overruled, and sapped of mental energy throughout your day? Has your day become a vicious cycle of tasks that never get done, new tasks piling up, and just no time to get everything done? It’s pretty likely that you\re suffering from decision fatigue.

You see, the problem isn’t that you need more detailed to-do lists or schedule your day better or even delegate tasks. When you get to the core of what is really going on, the problem is typically the inability to make quick, effective decisions that get things done! Decision fatigue is your number one enemy and the number one productivity-killer.

If you are a victim of decision fatigue, these 5 simple but powerful tips will quickly put you back in control of your day – and your sanity!

  • Practice binary decision-making

Binary decision-making means thinking in black and white. This method is the best way to eliminate stressful indecision and dramatically speeds up decision-making.

Once you have all the options in front of you, simply categorize them under two headings: “good” or “bad”. Of course, not all the options will be totally good or totally bad but forcing yourself to do this will help you avoid that gray area of indecision that can keep you scratching your head for ages.

You can pare down the “good” options further into “great” and “less great” until you finally have to or three to make your final choice from. How time-saving is that?

Note: The key here is that binary decision-making needs to be done quickly. When categorizing your options, take only a few seconds to decide whether each is good or bad. Reflecting and deliberating for ages really defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? However, once you have two or three final options before you, you can take a bit more time to weigh the outcomes of each one.

  • Limit your number of daily decisions

Naturally, this is easier said than done, right? Actually, it’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it. It can also help cut down decision overload significantly.

The secret is to make a quota of decisions that you will commit to making per day and eliminate the unnecessary ones so that you aren’t bombarded all day long.

For example, let’s take food. Research tells us that we make about 226 decisions every day about food. What to cook, what to order, where to eat for dinner, what to buy at the grocery store… it sounds trivial but it is these kinds of mundane decisions that clog our brain and cause decision fatigue.

You can eliminate this kind of decision overload by making a weekly or monthly meal plan, coordinating food shopping lists with this meal plan, scheduling one or two days for ordering out and so on.

You can apply this same tactic to other areas in your life such as your wardrobe, morning routine and shopping habits.

Next, make a quota of decisions that you will deal with every day, say, 10. That way, you can tackle the important decision that requires real thought and effort and get them out of the way quickly and efficiently.

  • Don’t multi-task

New studies coming out are suggesting that multitasking is actually detrimental to productivity. Dividing your attention between several tasks and priding yourself on being a super-charged multitasker can drastically affect your decision-making – for the worse.

Think about it; what kind of decisions will you make when your mind is distracted by a dozen other things? Instead, set aside time for decision-making and nothing else. Focus your full attention on what needs to be done.

Don’t check email, don’t work on spreadsheets, and turn off your phone.

Without distractions, it will be easier to assess outcomes and quickly make an efficient decision. This is actually a future time-saving tactic as well, as it eliminates the stress of fixing or remaking decisions that were not made correctly the first time.

  • Get difficult/dreaded decisions out of the way first

Difficult decisions are not going to go away so, the sooner you make them, the better.

Tackle important or “dreaded” decisions first thing in the morning when your mind is at its most alert and focused. Once you have gotten them out of the way, you can be sure that you will have a much smoother, hassle-free day.  

Otherwise, the weight of those decisions if delayed will keep nagging at the back of your mind and is extremely stressful.

  • Price your decisions

Putting a price-tag on your decisions is the best way to get your priorities clear. For example, the decision to buy a new car can be worth $50, whereas the decision to quit your job and go into business on your own can be worth $1o,000 to you.

Putting a price on your decision in terms of how much it is worth to or the impact it will have is the best indicator of which decisions you should tackle first and how much time you should spend on it.

Fix a price range of $1 to $10,000 to evaluate your priorities. A decision ranging between $1 – $10 is pretty mundane in terms of impact and should be taken in minutes or even less. A $10,000- decision is life-changing therefore, it would need more time and deliberation.

Conclusion

Decision fatigue is a common problem in the lives of most people today. It’s part and parcel of our fast-paced, digital world.  And yet, most people will try to remedy this by scheduling, structuring, multitasking and various other methods that just don’t work.

So, get smart and beat decision fatigue for good the right way, by incorporating these 5 powerful tips into your day.

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