Our lives are stitched together by hundreds of small decisions a day. We decide on diaper brands, the best place to get moving boxes, and the best use of a budget. Yet—as the day wears on—we may begin to struggle with even simple decisions. This is not unusual. Psychologists have observed that after shopping—a process filled with decisions—people are more likely to accept bad deals. These mistakes come from a thing called “Decision Fatigue”.
“Decision fatigue” means making decisions is tiring for your brain. It is similar to doing ten squats at the gym: the first squat will be easy and the last will be sloppy. Unfortunately—when it comes to decisions—this results in us making bad choices near the end of a busy day. Given that a successful life is about good decisions, below are some ways to manage decision fatigue in your life.
- Limit your decisions.
Barack Obama only wore gray or blue suits during his tenure because he did not want to waste decisions on his clothing. This is an example of reducing daily decision-making. Other examples are meal plans for the week or otherwise keeping to a steady ritual each day. You could get lunch from the same place or take the same route to work. You could rent or buy supplies from the same preapproved businesses, so you do not need to scan google every time you need something. Each of these things prunes away small decisions and leaves energy for the big ones.
- Organize an Action Plan.
An action plan is a must for organizing groups of people toward one goal. However, it has an added benefit of reducing each person’s daily mental labour. Pre-planning moves several decisions out of the regular workday. This change allows a person to focus on the decisions in their work rather than determining the next step or person to call. For example, a project may require specialized knowledge among your team. Finding a provider of the right course to give them that knowledge ahead of time, and using that provider consistently, saves you hours of phoning around in a panic later.
- Delegate to specialists.
Finally, the easiest way to reduce your decisions is to delegate them. Most jobs are an outsourcing of decisions by a company owner. This outsourcing does not mean the owner could not do the job themselves. Instead, it is a way of freeing up the owner’s time and mental energy for key decisions in their business. It reduces decision fatigue to give smaller decisions away to trained professionals.
This need for delegation was the model for Universal Group, as an example. We assist superintendents, project managers, property managers, and business owners with services like Traffic Control Plan creation or landscape maintenance. Our staff can recommend the right traffic control equipment to rent, pair you with the best skilled personnel for a labour gap on your site, or even recommend the right course to build the skills in your business. In other words, we can take these clusters of small decisions off your plate and leave you to make the big decisions for your business.
Whatever path you take, decision fatigue is a real phenomenon but a manageable one. You may notice a new clarity in your decisions If you give these tips a try.