Have you heard people talk about how to reduce decision fatigue? Have you ever wondered what that is or why people have trouble making decisions? I used to wonder what the fuss was all about until I started getting overwhelmed with even the smallest decision like what restaurant to eat at or how I should style my hair for the day.
In my searching for productivity hacks and desperation for a better work/life balance, I’ve realized much of my stress is related to making decisions. I am, in fact, experiencing decision fatigue. No matter how productive or efficient I am it doesn’t eliminate the overwhelm. But whenever I’m able to reduce decisions, the overwhelm lessens and my brain doesn’t feel so full.
Here are four ways I’ve learned to reduce decision fatigue
Morning Routines are Your Friend
Since starting my morning routine I’ve learned how to prioritize tasks and create a system ensuring a solid start to the day. I make any and all minor decisions the night before like putting out my clothes, packing my lunch, and writing out a to-do list for what I’ll work on the first thing.
Break Your Day into Segments
I’ve found my days go better when I have a plan, rather than sitting around wondering what I should work on going back and forth between tasks. This approach could seem rigid at first glance but it does two amazing things for me. First, it helps me cross tasks off my list with great efficiency. Second, it does reduce decision fatigue. Whenever I finish a task I don’t have to decide what to work on next—I just look at my list and see what’s next.
Get Enough Sleep
You know how those infomercials are easy to ignore during the day but late at night (when you should be sleeping but you’re watching television instead)…all of a sudden you feel compelled to make an impulse purchase? Sleepy people make poor choices. I’ve found when I’m physically or mentally exhausted my decisions are weird, odd, or downright bizarre. And when I’m sleep deprived everything is compounded, resulting in indecisiveness, miscalculations, and angst.
Let Go of What You Can’t Control
Since learning how to streamline my decision making a bit better I’m seeing how much easier it is to relax and trust that God has the larger story under control. I don’t need to worry about it. By letting go of what I can’t control I’m learning to focus on my actual responsibilities, which is both a stress reliever and a few fewer things to have to think about in my already-full brain.
I’ve always loved the words of Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” While it’s tempting to take on the weight of the world everything gets easier when I acknowledge it’s not up to me. God’s got everything under control and I need to trust in His leading. By implementing strategies to reduce decision fatigue I’m learning how to focus on the decisions that matter and let everything else go.