Decision fatigue, in recent times I’ve heard this phrase thrown around the office, and to be honest it scared me a little. Stunting my choices, where does it apply? can I make that call? should I eat that chocolate..
The jist of it is, compounding decisons lead to your mental energy being depleted and as such, leads to either poor decisions or perhaps worse, no decisions being made. This phenomenon is known as decision fatigue or ego depletion, a term coined by the social phycologist Roy F. Baumeister, in light of Freud's self studies.
So how does this affect you?
Once you’re mentally fatigued, you become reluctant or unwilling to make trade-offs. To visualise this, imagine your mental energy had a finite amount of decisions making power, much like a glass can only hold so much water. Each choice, depending on it’s sevarity will deplete some of that water, hence the bigger the decision, the more water used, as opposed to small decisions which take a mere sip out. At the end of a long day of making choices, this leaves you unwilling to go to the gym or work on that side business.
So how do you overcome decision fatigue?
Plan your next day, from the clothes your going to wear to the gym gear in your bag, or that hour you’ve set aside to crush your side hustle.
Commit to it! Period. Schedule things in, instead of waiting around at the mercy of will power and doing exercise, writing or whatever when you feel like it. Commit to it, make a time. Set it in, and do it.
First things first, do what’s most important first. That way you can give it full attention and energy.
4. Feed your brain
Ok, it’s great to crush it, and prioritize all you want but life is going to throw challenges your way whether you’ve just had your first double shot soy latte of the day, or it’s 1 a.m. and you’re still working on a presentation for the next day. So feed your mind and body the right food, eat well and breathe. Before a big decision, take the time to get something in your stomach and air in your lungs. 10 minutes might be all the difference.
5. Work out
Whilst your will power is like a muscle, and gets fatigued. It also gets stronger, each decision you make helps build that strength. So take the stairs, stay back that extra 10min in.. Challenge yourself.