Have you ever heard of decision fatigue?
Even if you haven’t, I bet you intuitively recognize it. It’s that afternoon slump you feel after making too many decisions in the morning. It’s snapping at your employees after being asked too many questions. It’s the feeling of not even knowing what you want for dinner because you’re too tired to choose!
We’ve all had it happen to us. There’s even research that says that we consistently make less favorable decisions in the afternoon than in the morning.
When you’re able to decide how you want to feel ahead of time, I think it’s easier to manage decision fatigue. But even that can be a challenge at first. So here’s another good tip: give yourself the gift of constraint.
You know those stories about how Obama would wear the same suit and Steve Jobs wore the same black turtleneck so they didn’t have to make a decision every morning? That’s an example of what I’m talking about. Some of us already do that subconsciously: we eat the same thing for breakfast or wear the same colors because we know they look good on us.
What I’m suggesting is we do this INTENTIONALLY.
Take an hour and think about how to simplify the decisions you make every day. What you eat, what type of exercise you’re going to do, and when you’re going to do it, how much time you’re going to spend watching TV. Limit your options, decide now, and stick to it for a week.
The more you simplify your life, the less you’ll have to worry about. The fewer decisions you have to make in the moment, the more energy you’ll have for what you ACTUALLY care about, whatever that is.