Decision fatigue impacts our productivity and general energy levels more than many of us realise. Should you go to the gym tomorrow before work, or after? What will you wear today? What do you want for breakfast? When do you want to set that important meeting for? Will you call your friend at lunch, or wait until the weekend? The list is endless - and most of our mental calculations are subconscious, though the toll on our energy level is very much felt.
Your brain finds decision-making particularly difficult when it doesn’t have all of the information it needs. It’s always trying to protect you from threats, and having any level of uncertainty will make this process more stressful for your brain - as it feels even more out of control.
It’s difficult to weigh up the pros and cons of a decision without all the facts, as we make decisions based on learned experiences. The brain likes black and white. It wants to make accurate predictions. It doesn’t like a world of ambiguity and gray zones. Can you blame it? So is it any wonder that making consistent decisions throughout the day leaves it exhausted?
The best thing you can do to avoid decision fatigue is be aware of it - and reduce the number of decisions you have to make. It may sound obvious - but it can be very hard to do! Here are five strategies that can help:
At the start of each day (or before you go to bed, if it helps) make a list of the tasks you need to complete. Prioritise the most urgent and important tasks - deciding what Netflix series to watch on the weekend can wait!
Delegating doesn’t just apply to tasks - you can reallocate decision-making too. Empower your employees to make productive choices with resilience training and spend your precious time and mental energy where it counts most.
While it’s important to make educated decisions, be sure not to fall victim to analysis paralysis by attempting to know every last detail. In some cases, action is better than inaction.
Adopt a microlearning approach and work in short, sharp intervals to free more space for effective mental activity. This will be great for decision fatigue - and general fatigue, too.
When your brain is familiar with a certain activity, it becomes habitual - and requires less mental energy. If you choose between the bus or the tram every day, for example, you’re likely to be familiar with exactly what time each mode of transport will pick you up and how long the journey will take. Your brain doesn’t have to go scanning for information every day - so it requires less energy. Conversely, devising a strategy for a brand new client in an unfamiliar industry will require more complex thinking. Ensure you have the right balance of column a and column b in your daily routine.
The human brain is faced with countless decisions every day. Implementing these simple techniques can have an impact on the effectiveness of those decisions, and the mental capacity they require. A resilient mind knows how to avoid decision fatigue, and perform at its best.
Start your journey to better business today.
This free resource will take you through a number of effective neurohacking techniques to help improve your mental strength.
Register below to start your Five Day Feel Good Challenge and join our mailing list for more mindset hacks and resilience tips.
Tips to become more resilient in the face of workplace conflict - and prevent it happening again in future.
Register to start your Five Day Feel Good Challenge - a free resource with effective neurohacking techniques to help improve your mental strength and join our mailing list.