Deciding which clothes to wear, which route to work to take, and even which show to watch make up many of the 10,000 to 40,000 decisions we make each day. Making so many decisions, especially ones that require a lot of effort and deliberation, can really drain our mental and physical levels. Add in some sort of conflict and your decision becomes even tougher with your emotional investment.
Decision fatigue is the phenomenon that causes a loss of energy and focus from making too many decisions. This can cause you to be irritable and less productive as well as more likely to make poor decisions. If you’ve ever been working on a task and realize a careless mistake, this could be blamed on decision fatigue.
How to Avoid It
Fortunately, you can help your brain out throughout the day by simplifying your decision-making process. Mint created an infographic with 8 tips to avoid decision fatigue so you can be more productive. Try out some of these simple tips to reduce decision fatigue and live a happier, stress-free life.
- Don’t make as many decisions
This may sound way too obvious but you can reduce the number of decisions and choices throughout your day. If there are common tasks like planning dinner, try switching it up by meal planning ahead of time or using a delivery service to limit your options each day.
- Get into a routine
Even if you aren’t big on planning or following a schedule, following a general routine for your day can leave less time to wonder what you could be doing instead. If you can’t find a good time to workout and struggle moving things around to make time, sign up for a workout class so you are dedicated to a certain time slot.
- Make big decisions in the morning
Since decision fatigue happens after making too many decisions, naturally, that will occur later in the day. If you have any financial matters or serious decisions, consider sitting down to deal with them in the morning while you are still sharp.
- Eat healthy foods
This golden rule for pretty much anything helps your body get the energy it needs to take on the day without the side effects that come with sugary or fatty foods. For the most impact, eat often throughout the day so your body isn’t distracted by hunger. Pack small snacks like almonds or apples to get you through that mid-day slump.
Preventive health maintenance is very important. Many diseases often have no advance symptoms. So even if you feel well you can identify them before they become advanced.
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- Practice time-blocking
Time management takes a long time to master and methods of success vary from person to person. Time-blocking is a technique where you plan out designated time slots for working on certain tasks. This requires you to prioritize and estimate the effort and time it takes to complete tasks, meaning that time and effort comes sooner rather than later. You can always adjust as needed but knowing ahead of time could make things simpler.
- Block out distractions
Alerts from emails and our phones cause us to lose track of the task at hand and jumping back in isn’t so easy. Find time away from distractions when you need to get some serious work done and snooze all those notifications until you can finish.
- Get some sleep
Sleep provides your body with the necessary recharge it needs each and every day. Make your bed a place of relaxation and avoid being on your phone to help fall asleep faster. Being well rested can help your mind tackle new challenges in the day ahead.
- Automate things
The benefits of technology in our everyday life is huge! Set up automatic bill pay to worry less about paying on time and set automatic alarms for when you need to leave the house. Use technology to automate aspects of your life to make things easier.
Please include attribution to www.mint.com with this graphic.
After graduating from The University of Texas at Austin with a BBA in Marketing, Amanda began her career in advertising working with clients in health care, education, and consumer goods.
In her current role at Siege, she enjoys creating unique content to build brands people love.
Amanda is a full-time dog mom and on-and-off-again plant mom. Outside of work, she enjoys exploring with her pup, dining out, and then reviewing her experiences on Google maps.