Learn how to deal with decision fatigue
Did you know that the average person makes about 35,000 decisions in a day?
Sure, most of these decisions are small ones — what to eat, where to go, what to wear — but every decision requires energy, and especially when combined with a lot of physical activity, it will eventually drain our mind.
It’s what experts call decision fatigue. The higher the number of choices you make throughout the day, the more exhausting each one becomes for your brain. Now when you’re the head of company, those decisions become not only important but could also be detrimental to the fate of the business.
Business leaders have a lot of decision-making responsibilities on their plate and sometimes it becomes too much for their mind. When this happens, the brain begins to look for shortcuts in processing certain situations, and that recklessness is not very good when you’ve got an entire company depending on you to make the right calls.
Below are several ways to fight decisions fatigue.
Make fewer decisions, delegate the rest
Just like with any other life problem that results from being excessive, the best way to reduce decision fatigue is to reduce the number of decisions you have to make in a day. And the way to do that is to plan everything that can be planned ahead of time. Decide your meals the night before, so you know what you’re having for breakfast. Pick out your clothes days in advance. Use daily planners and to-do lists. Leverage automation for things that are recurring. Then, you can delegate decisions the same way you delegate tasks. By giving responsibility for decision-making to other people, you reduce the number of decisions on your plate.
Making a big decision? Do it in the morning
Studies have found that people tend to vary their decision-making guidelines throughout the day. In the morning, they tend to be more careful and meticulous in their choices. But as decision fatigue sets in later in the afternoon and at night, they start making riskier decisions. So if you have a big decision that necessitates cautious consideration, schedule to make it in the morning.
Make one decision at a time by setting deadlines
Sometimes there are several things that require your decision throughout a long project or a certain timeframe, and when these things overlap each other, it could result to poor decision-making on your part. The trick is to space them out by setting mini-deadlines for each stage or process that needs decisions before you can proceed. When you’ve these decisions their respective time for you to focus on, you’re truly using your best judgment.
Trust your decisions when you’ve already made them
Business owners often have the attitude that everything they do needs to be perfect, and this puts a lot of pressure on them to make the “right” choice because the “wrong” one could ruin everything. This causes them to second-guess the choices they have made and keeps them from moving along to the next parts of the process. It’s true — every decision is important. But if you become obsessed with every move you make and can barely function anymore because of anxiety, that’s not right anymore. Have faith in the choices you made and instead of worrying whether or not you screwed it up, focus on why your decision was a great one and work on making it work.
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