I recently read an excellent article by Julia Ubbenga about “Decision Fatigue” and how it’s impacting a lot of people in their lives. I suspect you know what I am referring to. With all the negative news that surrounds us, it is probably difficult not to be somewhat fatigued… If you are running a business, or even if you are not, you are being bombarded with challenges created by inflation, rising interest rates and sometimes oppressive rules being created by government appointees who have no level of accountability.
If you are getting fatigued with the many decisions and challenges being faced, this article provides us with some insight about what we can potentially do to overcome this. Here is a summary of the author’s thoughts about how to decrease decision fatigue:
- Simplify your wardrobe – I know this probably sounds silly, but if you look at some of the most accomplished people in society, they don’t appear to spend a great deal of time choosing what they wear every day. Steve Jobs of Apple and many other successful leaders maintain a simple wardrobe and don’t waste time making clothing decisions every day. If you can’t do this, at least select your outfit the night before.
- Practice a morning routine – Ubbenga states, “Implementing routines and rhythms into your day is key to reducing decision fatigue.” My morning routine includes a workout, meditation, Bible study and usually a walk or run. If I don’t get to complete these tasks, usually due to catching an early morning flight, my day can start out less smoothly. For this reason, I am quite adamant about maintaining this morning routine. I feel that it gets my mind on a more positive track!
- Reduce clutter in your environment – I know a lot of us have a challenge with this one. I do, too, occasionally. However, the reason I know this is crucial is simply that every time I get my desk organized, I not only feel better, but also tend to be more productive.
- Apply the Rule of 3 to your “to do” list – Experts in productivity agree that the magic number of priority items on a daily “to do” list is three. You can list 10 items that you want to complete as you end each day, but I believe it is imperative that you then start your day be selecting the three most important ones to complete. For me, part of the answer is learning to say “No.” As my business coach Dan Sullivan states, “Learning to say Yes is what got you out Egypt, but learning to say NO will get you to the Promised Land.” Ask yourself – of these 10 items what three, if they were all I completed today, are most crucial?
- Slow down your schedule – This is a big one for me. I used to get annoyed when my schedule had to change, normally for reasons beyond my control… However, I have learned to use these changes to my advantage. Maybe I can use them to catch up on a task that I hadn’t completed yesterday or even get a jump on an item that I had planned to do later in the week such as follow up calls. Often, this creates new, positive opportunities for me.
- Simplify your meal routine – “Studies show that the average American spends 40 minutes per day thinking about food. That’s more than 240 hours (10 days) a year.” Are you kidding me? I find my day is more productive, especially when I’m traveling, if I simplify the process. Give this simplification process a try, and just eat healthy.
- Ask yourself what decision would be best for your brain – Ubbenga states that “Prioritizing and optimizing brain health will help reduce decision fatigue.” Try asking yourself, when you are facing a decision, “What’s best for my brain right now?” I often ask myself – Is this the best thing/approach for me right now? The more I do this, the better, and less stressful, my decisions seem to become. As the late Wayne Dyer said “Our lives are a sum total of the choices we have made.”
All of these seven points can assist us to reduce “decision fatigue.” While the stress relief of this process is, in itself, beneficial, I think the greatest benefit comes from developing an ability to make better decisions, and that will assist you in getting to “Next Level Thinking!”
The real question is – Why Wait? Start this now, and as I suggested previously, what will happen? Many good things!
Let’s take your business to the Next Level!