Decision Fatigue

Written by Cat on

Coach Class“Email is so hard to get through. I feel tired having to deal with the spam.”

“Yes, I know what you mean. I used to work for a government official and my job was to go through all mail. I separated out the most important items for the official to go through, so his decision capability wasn’t wasted. Have you ever heard of ‘decision fatigue’?”

“Decision fatigue. Hmmm.  I can imagine. Is that when you have so many decisions to make that it drives you crazy?”

“Yes, and even more. When a person in in charge of making important decisions they need to conserve their energy to focus on the important. Many of these people wear the same color suits and eat the same breakfast, as even these can take energy and focus.”

“Wow! That’s really interesting and makes total sense.  Even the decision to open an email or save seems wearing. My inbox has so much stuff that I feel better on the days when I take a break from computers, media, and social media sites. Little things are like barbs that catch on my clothes.”

“A valuable asset is an assistant that can support you with taking the minor decisions off your head.”

“Ha! Good way to put it! I’m so happy that my Life Partner does the shopping. All those extra products next to the register are tempting and draining. Yet another place to get bombarded by stuff.”

“So true.”

Decision Fatigue

Communication is the Response You Get - sketch by Cat Wilson

Communication is the Response You Get – sketch by Cat Wilson

The above conversation happened in our Growing Coaching Training class between instructor Cat Wilson and a student in class.

According to Wikipedia, “decision fatigue refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual, after a long session of decision making.”

We simply have so much focus and energy to work on what is in our path. You may find that if you are having to deal with lots of little decisions that by the end of the day you make poor choices because you don’t have enough “space” to process your thoughts.

Handling Advanced Decisions

Got a Bigger Decision? Decisions involving “trade-offs” (when either of a couple choices have both positive and negative aspects) is an energy-consuming type of decision making.

Studies at Stanford University by Jonathan Levav on decision fatigue have shown that people can be more vulnerable to sales strategies. Imagine buying a new car. You know what you want, how much money you have, and in a good state. You can be smart, sensible, and ready to buy the car. Given a lot of little decisions along the way, including the restaurant you stopped at along they way, and you are worn down just enough that you find yourself loosing your focus.

Analysis Paralysis

Maybe you’ve heard of “analysis paralysis”? This is when a person over-analyzes or over-thinks when making a decision, so they get stuck.  Their inner computer gets hot and needs to cool down.

In these cases it is good to step away, take a break, go for a walk, and drink some water to lubricate the mental muscles.

Quiet Time

Destress the HolidayWhat does one do when dealing with many decisions?

First, decide what is your role and where do you need to put your highest quality energy?

Next, ask people you work with or family to handle areas where they are competent in making decisions. A little training and these people can make a BIG difference. It is empowering, too, to have some area where everyone is the decision maker.

In addition, take time every morning for 10-20 minutes for “Quiet Time” which some call meditation or stillness. When you take the time every day at the very beginning you create a “Teflon -like” layer that helps you have more calm in any situation.

Unconscious Mind is a Helper

Ferret compassYou have many levels of mind. Conscious and Unconscious mind work on what you give it. You may find that asking your unconscious mind to help you in taking care of big and small problems can be a real helper!

You can actually create an “inner compass.” Knowing your values supports your boundaries.

Try This

Do  you want to make better food choices? Before you go to bed say to yourself, “I wonder how I handle making good eating decisions so well?” Your unconscious mind will work on this while you sleep. It  likes to solve things for you. You may find yourself naturally being better at making eating decisions easily and effortlessly the next day. Trust your mind to be your friend and feed it “positive” thoughts and ideas.

Want More Ideas?

Share Kind Words by Cat Wilson

Share Kind Words by Cat Wilson

Our classes work to empower our students, as we know after many years what is involved in helping others making good decisions.

Check out Apositiva classes in coaching, hypnotherapy and Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP).

You will find that our down to earth training center and knowledgeable trainers bring a wealth of learning.  We make it easy to focus, enjoyable, and provide an environment you can feel safe to be your highest and best possible you!

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