Ever have one of those days where you find yourself totally unable to make a call on the tiniest things? Maybe your partner asks you to decide between Indian food or Chinese food for dinner after a long day, and you find that you instead opt for eating cereal out of the box while you stand in your kitchen.

You, my friend, have probably just been struck by decision fatigue.

What Is Decision Fatigue?

Decision fatigue is the experience of a person’s decisions making ability deteriorating over a course of time, and a contributor to what we’d consider bad or irrational decisions.

We find ourselves making decisions all the time. What to wear to work. What kind of toothpaste to buy. Where to go for a drink with friends. Add up all the life and business decisions you make a day, and I’m sure you’ll be amazed at the sheer number of them!

All these decisions, whether small or large, eventually begin to fry our decision making part of our brain. That leads us to making bad decisions, or to not making a decision at all.

We need a break, so we can recharge.

How To Beat Decision Fatigue

Luckily, there are some very simple steps you can take to eliminate some of the decisions you’re making every day. Making fewer decisions is the best way to beat decision fatigue. Here’s a short list of actions you can take:

  1. Plan your meals and outfits the night before
  2. Each day, start with the biggest and most important decisions first
  3. Enforce routines to eliminate the need for decisions.

Routines that you can follow mindlessly- that id, without having to make an active decision, are some of the most powerful tools at your disposal. And they’re easy enough to implement. For example, you can meal prep one day a week and make enough food for your dinners all week long. This will eliminate the decision of ‘what to have for dinner’ each day of the week.

Laying out clothes each night before going to bed also will save you time and a big decision first thing in the morning. These simple changes can really effect your life in positive ways.

Final Thoughts

Instead of letting a million small decisions overwhelm you, take back your time, your energy, and your decisions by implementing systems and routines to help you. Decision fatigue doesn’t have to negatively impact your life if you take steps to avoid feeling it in the first place.

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Kara Perez is the founder of Bravely, a company that connects women and money. She freelances in the areas of personal finance and travel, and she eats peanut butter straight out of the jar.

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