Decision Fatigue

13th August 2020by Krishna Gangadhar0

Taking a decision has never been tougher. With a gazillion of choices at hand we are bound to be overwhelmed. Until few years back we believed that one sure sign of development is having choice to decide what one wants. But all along we forgot one important thing; “With many choices comes great burden”.

Most of us spend at least a good five to ten minutes every day in front of our wardrobes deciding what to wear. We give up buying milk in the supermarket because we do not know if we need whole milk, skimmed milk, semi skimmed milk or organic milk! We stand in the queue at a fast food chain and debate if you want Pepsi or coke! When we all know that if they are not labeled we cannot tell them apart! We may not realize at that moment but these trivial decisions we make, ultimately affect our decision making capabilities in matters of great importance. This condition of being tired from taking decisions is referred to as decision fatigue.

How do we save ourselves from succumbing to decision fatigue? Here are few tips which we can implement in our day to day lives:

Limit your choices
Businessmen like Satya Nadella and Mark Zuckerberg are seen wearing a simple black shirt over jeans almost every single day. This way they don’t have to worry about things like; whether the dress is appropriate for the event or does the color suit them. If you don’t want to stick to one color or style you can optimize your time by picking and ironing your dress the night before.

Shop by the list
Next time when you hit the supermarket, the list you made must become your holy grail. Note down all the things you need to buy during the week and make sure that you buy only those in the supermarket over the weekend. This way you can avoid impulsive buying.

If tomorrow you need to pick a dress for your daughter’s fancy dress competition and you need to go to the bank to choose your life insurance policy, you better go to the bank first thing in the morning. If you go to the bank after having a long day chances are high that you might end up choosing a policy that is bad but efficiently marketed because you are already tired and it would seem easier to just follow your banker’s advice.

Take a Break
It is not uncommon to feel a bit out of breath due the onus of making decisions. It might be as trivial as choosing a flavor of chewing gum or as serious as deciding on which under performer in your team should be fired, you are bound to be exhausted. Give yourself a break, go out and get some fresh air or maybe go on a stroll. Things will automatically seem better. Taking short breaks will definitely help you fight against decision fatigue.

Choices come with their own benefits and burden. With proper planning and prioritization you can reap the benefits of Choices rather than the choices crippling your decision making abilities.

Krishna Gangadhar

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