This week I want to talk about decision fatigue. Nope, it is not a psychological or academic concept but the phrase we use just so often in our life, every day in various ways & languages.
As human beings we are gregarious. We like to be in groups. We are by nature social beings & we like company. And in the process we start becoming dependent on people in multiple ways for multiple reasons. And nothing wrong with that coz that’s just how we are created & wired.
Each day we are required to take various small & big decisions as we go through a day. The size or impact of that decision could be large or infinitesimally small. The big decisions ofcourse need careful thinking and educated dialogue. It’s the smaller ones that I want to talk about today.
In deciding whether to get an unplanned hair spa after a hair cut, or whether to put a red or a yellow bedspread, whether to offer the watchman some chai (what will others think of me), whether to drive or take a taxi, if a taxi then should it be uber or a regular cool cab, whether to get rustproofing or wax polish during a car servicing, whether to service the car at all now since it is making some noise or wait till the next free service date arrives, whether to wear that sexy top today or a more sober one, what should today’s menu look like, do you have the ingredients to make the menu, whether to call that person or just send a message, whether to be the first to call after a date, should I write about this topic or another, should I organise the kitchen cabinets this weekend or the next, should I buy those shoes online I love but don’t need or the cushion covers, whether to watch game of thrones or finish the last episode of Mad Men, whether to, whether to attend to emails first or take a quick look at Social Media, whether to have that glass of wine or eat only a dessert, what should the main course be, do you feel like a starter etcetra etcetra. And most of all on most days I start my day with decision fatigue – whether to snooze the alarm or spring up ( I need to change this) ..but unknowingly this decision fatigue goes on ..wether to ..wether to…whether to
Our days are full of such decision making. And the thing with decision fatigue is – it saps you of mental energy and leaves you on a low fuse & high on irritability. Unlike physical fatigue – decision fatigue is not obvious , you are not conscious of being tired BUT you are low on mental energy. And that explains why a lot of reasonable sensible rational people end up doing & saying a lot of irrational things.
So how do we navigate our day without letting DF creep up on us. Ofcourse there are no magic wands that will immediately fix this for us. But what we can start doing is things that don’t need thinking, identify and stop them now. Breakfast every Monday can be the same & every Tuesday be the same – figure the dishes for the 4 weeks and stick it on the fridge. Keep one day of the week for the surprise meal or the junk meal. Set one day of the week or fortnight when you get the maid to clean all the corners instead of labouring over it daily. Decide that this one hour – it will only be work on the projects & email & no “quick looks” on social media
Simplify your choices. Plan a bit. Keep the less important decisions to be made later in the day. Make the more important ones in the morning. And most importantly stay consistent. Good Luck. xoxoxo