Battling Decision Fatigue
I cannot speak for everyone, but in my world, the past two weeks have been rather rough ones. Not only from a business perspective, but on a personal level. Some situations have presented themselves that have needed my undivided attention. Needless to say, my decision-making skills where on a constant “on” button. All is good now, however, until I sat back and assessed the situations again, did I realized the level of fatigue I had been carrying. So, I was not surprised after doing some research that there is actual term for what I was feeling - Decision Fatigue – I thought I would share with you what I’ve learned along with 5 ways to help cope when you are faced with it.
What is decision fatigue? According to Wikipedia, decision fatigue “refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after a long session of decision making.” At every moment in the day we are faced with making a decision from the time we wake up (what time is that?) to the moment our head hits the pillow (and, what time is that?). According to multiple sources, the average amount of conscious decisions an adult makes daily are a whooping 35,000. Decisions that affect our personal lives, our households, and our businesses are being made when our brain is stretched far beyond a rational ability to adequately absorb all the facts presented and base the decision on current circumstances. When this occurs, we are sometimes left with the sense of depletion and may be emotionally removed from how the decision will affect us moving forward. As business owners and family members we make extremely important decisions that not only affect us, but also our employees, families and our community.
Decision fatigue prevents us from being completely present in our lives and really showing up to do our best work. Here are some ways to help you cope with decision fatigue and allow yourself a chance to catch your breath and ease your mind.
Start you morning with a routine
Getting up earlier is not an option for me because I already feel like I’m up too early. But I do allow myself 15 minutes of silence in the morning before my household gets moving. In that 15 minutes, I do a 3 minute meditation that my friend Jessica DeAngelo of Shine Yoga taught me. It’s a simple meditation – no music, just a timer set for 3 minutes. I breathe in and out…and when my mind wonders, I gently focus myself back to my breath. When the time is done – then I am finished. I do this right away and then continue on in silence for a few more minutes.
Make big decisions in the morning
When you mind is fresh and clear, make the decisions necessary in order to clear them from your priority list. Use the MIT method (Most Important Task) list to help clear those up first thing. For an extra feel good moment – add what you’ve completed to an Accomplished List to review at the end of the day. Rewarding yourself for a job well done will help you feel like you’ve conquered the world!
Limit your options
Choices are the death of us. There are too many choices in a day – from menu options to YouTube videos on productivity. It’s OK if you have the same oatmeal for breakfast everyday – add a fruit, or some honey to it once a week. Don’t stress over it. Narrow down your options to three, than two from those choices. Soon you will have the choice that best suites you. Don’t look back or second guess your choice. Make it and stick to it.
Be happy with completed tasks
Know when it’s “good enough” and let it be. Perfection is a hard level to achieve and we are not perfect by any means. When you aim for perfection you are in a sense creating a level of procrastination because the task will never be “good enough”. If the task is at 85 or 90% for the items not at the top of your list, then great – it’s done.
Fear of Missing Out plagues our society. Don’t overload your to do list so you look busy…Trust me YOU ARE BUSY…and you really don’t need to be. Rest you mind, take a break – take a walk. Manage you work/life harmony. All work and no play is NO FUN! Attend events that you really want to be at and those that inspire and support your social well being. If a cocktail party pops-up and you are feeling inspired to go, then go but don’t cram it in to an already full day and show up for the ½ hour just so you can say you were there!
I’ve begun keeping this list in handy so when I feel like I’m beginning to feel overwhelmed again, I take a breath and review it. I can tell you that I have taken some things off my calendar and have just limited my “to do” list. I’ve added an accomplished list to my journal and have been reading more about setting priorities and accomplishing tasks that matter to me.
Fall Fest in Perkasie!
Come visit Per Diem Space (The Leaky Cauldron) this weekend. Our photo booth will be in action in town (7th Street Hogsmeade) and our space will be transformed into a magical coworking wonderland straight from Diagon Alley. We will be featuring a menagerie of dark matter (a hot chocolate bar), magic potion necklaces, enchanted crystals, and more.
Cyber Security and Cash Flow Management Happy Hour Workshop
Cash is king! How is your cash flow? Is your cash liquid? Do you know your options when it come to cash management? How about your cyber security education? Need some knowledge?
Join Tracey Carroll, Senior Vice President of Cash Management from Penn Community Bank and her colleague, Roman Grinberg, IT Governance Supervisor, at Per Diem Space for an informational and enjoyable evening.
This interactive workshop will cover the following topics:
Intro into Cash Management Product Offerings.
Small Business Cyber Security Training.
Social Engineering Training.
Phishing Emails- Stop! Think! Protect!
NOTE: Date & Time: Friday October 20th 3pm to 5pm
Fall Back to School Special: $25.00
Snacks and Drinks to be served, Happy Hour following!