Making decisions is one of the biggest stress inducers in modern life and decision fatigue is now a well recognised problem.
As you make more and more decisions throughout the day (or in a given continuous stretch of time) the quality of your decisions is said to deteriorate, and in some cases to quite a significant level. You will probably have noticed this in a day where you’ve made many decisions previously, where you get to the end of the day and either just start agreeing to things or making “easy” calls. The fatigue doesn’t just relate to your decision making ability either, it’s a noticeable tiredness that can induce stress and wear you out.
Personally, what I find most tiring however is the actual delaying of making a decision. How often are you confronted with a decision, but you just don’t commit to it. This happens to me sometimes, even if I know what decision I “should” be making at the time. If you delay a decision, it sits in your mind, consuming energy and your brain power, whether you realise it or not. However, there is a way to tackle this sapping of energy and make you happier with your decision making as a whole.
Make a Decision and Allow Yourself to be Happy With it
The answer here is to just make the decision. If you know what the decision should be then it’s easy, just do it. Don’t worry about whether it’s the right decision, or let fear get the better of you. Allow yourself to make the decision and then most importantly, allow yourself to be happy with it. It’s done, forget about it, move on.
Doing this has several benefits. Firstly, you’ve just been more productive, because you’ve committed to something rather than pondering it and delaying it. Secondly, you’ve liberated your mind to concentrate of other tasks with more energy and focus than you may have done before. Lastly, rather than being filled with self doubt, you’ve made a positive step, which will reflect in your mood (and subsequent decisions) – You’ve shown confidence in yourself.
Whether your decision was right or wrong, is irrelevant, you can deal with any outcome as and when it happens with more energy and focus.
If you Need More Information
If you feel that you need more information to make the decision then do this:
Decide to delay your decision
This is important, as it’s not he same as just delaying the decision and ignoring it. You have made an actual decision to delay the decision making to a later date and or time. If it helps, decide also when that date and time will be. You can then gather more facts and information to help you make the decision further down the line. To further clear your mind, use a tool such as followup.cc – discussed here, to shift the problem completely out of your mind till the time is right.
By doing this, you’re not ignoring the situation and also, you’ve removed the problem from your mind to a later date. This has exactly the same liberating impact as making a decision one way or another.
Don’t delay your decisions too often, as you might get bogged down with lots of “later” decisions, but it’s a very useful tool to use when a decision can’t be made at the present time.
Try it for a Day
If currently feel bogged down, overwhelmed or don’t know where to start, then try taking this decision making approach for a day and see how you get on. You should feel liberated, more productive and ready to take on anything.
Try it with the first thing you think of (as that’s usually what’s bothering you most), and decide what to do, then take it from there. Ultimately, you don’t know where this process is going to take you, but it should be somewhere better than where you are currently.