Decision fatigue is one of the main reasons why we experience more and more stress these days. With quite unlimited access to… well… almost everything in life, it becomes harder to understand which decision is the right one to make. Here are 5 simple steps to reduce decision fatigue!
What is decision fatigue?
In my not so psychological terms, I’d describe decision fatigue as the stress we get when we need to pick the right decision from too many options. We literally exhaust ourselves with all the decisions we need to make in a day.
Decision fatigue happens when you have too many clothes in your closet and you spend half an hour each morning dressing and undressing until you find the perfect fit.
Decision fatigue happens when you try to decide what to cook for each meal every day (or even – what to order, where to go for lunch).
When you go to Starbucks and can’t choose which coffee to take.
It’s also common to experience this in your business. Writing the best email titles, picking the most appropriate photos, choosing the right niche, thinking about the best times to post on social media.
AND SO MUCH MORE!
How does decision fatigue impact your life?!
Decision fatigue literally is just another stressor in your life. The more decisions you are bound to make, the harder it is to live freely.
Besides that, the more decisions you make, the less careful you become about the ones you do make. And quite often, the decision fatigue can impact your decision making when it comes to the big things!
Imagine, how you’d days go if most of the daily decisions would be set in stone. What to wear, what to eat, what to accomplish.
Of course, it’s not all that easy. And, after all, having all decided in advance wouldn’t be that fun either. But you can increase your overall happiness and reduce decision fatigue with a few simple tricks.
The worst thing – mostly, we don’t even notice decision fatigue’s existence. For us, it’s normal to always be choosing something. But how about changing that for good?!
5 effective steps to reduce decision fatigue
STEP #1 Declutter
Living with less is the best and will help you to reduce decision fatigue!
Decluttering and getting into minimalism can be a huge game-changer in any area of your life.
Minimalism is a very wide topic to cover and it might not be the perfect fit for everybody but I’m sure you’d enjoy it to some extent.
Here are some ideas on how to declutter your daily life.
Start with the basics. Throw out the old and unused.
True minimalists stand by the idea to declutter by categories. For example, start with the closet, then move on to the kitchen, then the bathroom, etc. But I think it’s important to start SOMEWHERE and that somewhere might be the obvious around you.
How about cleaning up space around you by throwing out the old, broken and unused items? Both from your closet and living space.
That can be an old jacket you haven’t worn in years. Something you’ve meant to repair but never got to. Your “good old” handbag that had gone out of your style. Any stand-by items with no good use. Anything that doesn’t fit in the room or that you’ve outgrown in any way.
By cleaning up space around you, you will feel freer, it will get easier to breathe and you’ll give more space to creativity. It all sounds like jibber-jabber but just give it a try and you’ll see!
This also includes closed spaces like closets and drawers.
Declutter your digital space.
There are SO many things you can declutter in your digital space.
Starting from your laptop – throw or backup and delete any unused files, old projects, unnecessary items. Clean up your desktop by leaving only must-have apps (I have like 5 things on my desktop and I rarely click on any of them…)
Then, declutter your bookmarks. See what unnecessary browser extensions you might have or – on the contrary – see what helpful extensions you might add.
Unsubscribe from unnecessary emails, unfollow unnecessary, toxic or old accounts on Instagram, Twitter or any other platform.
Minimize. Delete. Simplify. Wherever possible!
And remember – decluttering doesn’t mean putting things out of your sight. Don’t throw everything in the storage room! Instead, aim to reduce things around you.
STEP #2 Streamline your daily life
When I was a kid, my routine was quite clear. I (or my mom) picked the clothes for school the evening before. I also packed my bag before going to bed.
My mornings were worry-free. 15 mins with cartoons and breakfast. Then, off to put on the clothes, take my bag and go to school.
I did my homework for the week on Sundays so I had the whole week free after school (unless something new popped up… but that’s up to my teachers not my planning skills).
Now, I sometimes find myself walking around the apartment for 15 minutes trying to remember why I came into the room in the first place…
To reduce decision fatigue, aim to simplify and streamline your life!
What to wear. What to eat. What to do. Prepare in advance. Spend only one hour per week to plan this instead of planning every day.
Decide what you’re going to wear. Ideally, wear the same thing at least a few days in a row – that’s a few less days to worry about clothing!
I mention clothes a lot but for many people, it really is an underlying stressor. We wear something every day. And if you have more than 2-3 outfits in your closet, the chances are – you do stop for a few minutes every day to make these decisions! Sometimes even unconsciously.
Another important thing to schedule in your life is food. Imagine not worrying about what and when you’ll eat for the next 5 days.
Knowing how your breakfast will look like. Maybe even having it prepared! Knowing when and where you’ll eat your lunch (and what you’ll order!) What’ll be on the dinner table either for yourself or your family.
This is commonly known as a ‘meal prep’ and has been widely used by fitness enthusiasts for years. However, you don’t have to be into fitness to care about what and when you’ll be eating.
At first, preparing all of this might seem like a lot of work but it’s a lot of work only once or twice a week. From there on, you live worry-free. Give it a try and see if it helps you to reduce decision fatigue!
When it comes to business, you can streamline and simplify processes like:
- Prepare email answer templates for some of the most popular emails you receive.
- Schedule all your social media for a week or even a month in advance!
- Write and schedule your blog posts in advance. (blog scheduling post)
- Create client onboarding sequences.
- Prepare client info boards on Trello so whenever a new client comes in you can add their info right away
There are plenty of ways to create well-working systems in your business!
To find what works best for you, first, identify the pain points – tasks that take the most time and are the most tiring – then create systems that will make them all easier for you!
STEP #3 Focus on things that matter
Don’t stress over the small things. (Easier said than done!)
To effectively reduce decision fatigue, you should be able to identify what are the things worth wasting your energy on.
For example, if picking up the most stunning and unique outfit every day actually does boost your productivity, confidence and makes you better at what you do, don’t worry about spending too much time on it.
However, understand that for every decision you make, there is another decision that doesn’t get as much attention.
Be sure that things you do invest your energy in really ARE worth it.
This point is highly individual and what matters to you might not be as important to the neighbor next door.
Therefore, be sure to evaluate closely what are the decisions you want to keep making and what is just a noise in your space.
STEP #4 Learn to say NO
Don’t let the clutter and decision fatigue back in your life.
Learn to say no to things, people, events.
Follow your instincts. When you feel like saying no, go for it.
It’s another disease of the 21st century – we have so many things to do and yet we always feel like taking on more.
Some do it because they’re scared to let opportunities go.
Others are just used to always being busy so saying yes to just another thing.
What are your favorite ways to reduce decision fatigue? What areas are you struggling the most with? Leave a comment and let’s chat about it!