Do you ever find by the end of the day you struggle to decide what to have for dinner? Stare into the fridge 10 times too many? Potter around your house wondering what you’re doing, unable to make a decision? That’s decision fatigue at its finest! YES you read right, decision fatigue is a real thing. Your brain gets tired, just like your body does from exercise!
Did you know you only have capacity to make a certain amount of decisions in a day? Tim Ferriss (Author of the 4 hour work week and an amazing entrepreneur) puts this really simply – Say you have 100 decision points in a day. If you waste 20 or 30 of them on what to choose for breakfast, what to wear, what music to listen to, what to do first at work etc – you’ve wasted decision points on useless things. You’ve also zapped will power, making it harder to say no to poor/less productive decisions – i.e. buying junk food when going grocery shopping, watching TV instead of cleaning etc.
“Making decisions uses the very same willpower that you use to say no to doughnuts, drugs, or illicit sex,” says Roy F. Baumeister, a psychologist who studies decision fatigue.
Entrepreneurs, CEO’s & incredibly successful people avoid decision fatigue as well! Steve Jobs wore his signature turtleneck and jeans every day as to not waste energy on clothing options.
So, what things can you implement in your life to avoid decision fatigue? Learn to control the variables – get rid of decisions you don’t need to make! Here are some ideas.
#1 Upon waking have the same routine for the first 60 minutes, at least for weekdays. Make the first hour of your day planned so well that you could write it down and someone else could do it.
#2 Clothing is a huge one, especially for the ladies. So don’t bother wearing it! Problem solved! Orrr decide what to wear before bed and lay your attire out for the next day. Do this with gym clothes as well. If possible have work clothes separate to casual ones – less choices.
#3 Ah glorious food – so many options! So many decision points! Meal prep your work food! If you need variety make it something you’d be excited to have 5 days in a row and change weekly. But like WHAT will you have for dinner though? How many times do you ask this of a weeknight? Too many. Have a list of 5-6 meals you can choose from and rotate them. Less decisions and fluffing about = more productivity! Save the delicious foods for the weekends when you’re out and about, socializing and not working as hard.
#4 Do your daily work procedures in the same order, as much as possible. Do all of your emails first thing, then another task, then another etc to avoid making decisions on what to do next
#5 If you go to the gym get a coach or PT to write your programs for you. Alternatively write what you will train for a week in one hit. A coach is really worthwhile if you are trying to be consistent with exercise or trying to reach a strength/physique goal anyway. They don’t over think everything the way you do when you do your own programming. You’re also more inclined to actually go if you have an action plan
“You’ll see I wear only grey or blue suits. 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.” – Barack Obama
Essentially the less decisions you have to make in a day the more willpower you have! This will help you eat better, actually exercise and focus on productive, important things such as work and goals. By the end of the day if you have made less decisions you will be less mentally fatigued – making room for greater things. Hallelujah!
Were you surfing Facey then this clickable little link grabbed your attention? I hope so. Eliminating distractions is easier said than done, procrastination feeds on the connective power of social media. What will happen if I miss that status, that email, that gif?
We’ll keep this short. Grab your phone, swipe up and hit that little moon. Phone no longer lights up or makes noise. Better yet push the airplane and leave it in another dam room when you are doing important stuff. Guaranteed to make you less distracted.
If distraction strikes while you’re trying to look all industrious at work then boy do I have some solutions for you.
#1 Do all of your emails at once so you aren’t wasting time going back and forth in between tasks. Allot time to them and only them. Create folders – under 5 or over 5 minute tasks. The under 5’s can be competed quickly so get those out of the way. Do the over 5’s as a separate task. (Task bundling also noted in previous post)
#2 You know all those websites you subscribed to that email you daily? You don’t really care about them but they take up time? Get rid of the ones you don’t actually read or need. As they come in, unsubscribe unsubscribe unsubscribe!! I subscribed from so many clothing ones when saving for America and it was so helpful for my bank account as well….winnnn!
#3 Save links for later if you are interested in them. Bookmark them on safari, pin them on Pinterest – even Facebook has a ‘Save link” option. Read them later, stay on task!
#4 Social media can be such a rabbit hole! I love it as much as the next person but if you have shit to do its a traaaap. So allot time to this as well. Facebook will still be there later.
#5 Go into your own space where you won’t be interrupted by others. Shut the door of the room you’re working in. If you work with heaps of other people get some headphones for important tasks so they don’t speak to you. Don’t even listen to music just pretend hahaha. But seriously
There are things that genuinely fill your time but there are also times where you can be busy but not actually be doing anything productive. Thanks Internet. Just fiddling about trying to make decisions which you could have planned better, making it seem like you are busier than you are. A little prep goes a long way.