Everyone experiences that feeling of being exhausted and overwhelmed, Sometime it’s caused by long hours, hard work, worrying, and even making too many decisions.
I recently read an article about decision fatigue. I hadn’t heard the term before, but I definitely know that I get it from time to time. It explains why ordinarily sensible people (like me) get angry at family members, splurge on clothes, buy junk food at the supermarket, and can’t resist the deal of the century on an upgraded vacuum warranty.
No matter how rational and high-minded we try to be, it’s hard to make decision after decision without paying a biological price. It’s different from ordinary physical fatigue — there is not that tired feeling but more like low mental energy.
The more choices you make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes for your brain, and eventually it looks for shortcuts, usually in either of two very different ways. One shortcut is to become reckless: to act impulsively instead of expending the energy to first think through the consequences. The other shortcut is the ultimate energy saver — do nothing. Instead of agonizing over decisions, avoid any choice. Ducking a decision often creates bigger problems in the long run, but for the moment, it eases the mental strain.
Big decisions, small decisions, they all add up. Choosing what to have for breakfast, where to go on vacation, how much to spend on a new car, etc.
We may not be able to avoid decision fatigue, but here are a few tips so that it doesn’t lead to making bad decisions.
1. Don’t restructure the family budget at 4 p.m..
2. Don’t make major commitments during cocktail hour.
3. Avoid all-you-can-eat buffets for dinner.
4. Steer clear of access to junk food later in the day.
Recognize that you may not be trustworthy in your decision making as the day wears on.