2 min read

Decision Fatigue

How can you create an environment that fosters fewer, better decisions?

Making too many decisions is often symptomatic of poor systems and processes. I’m as guilty as the next person, but I’m sure we can agree that making too many decisions is exhausting.

To make fewer decisions, it helps to look further upstream.

“There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.” - Desmond Tutu

Here are a few good questions to ask yourself:

  • Where am I making too many choices, or communicating too much that could be reduced by a blanket decision?
  • What can I do to make the choices I have to make as part of my daily routine more effortless?

* What’s an area of my work where I currently make lots of decisions that could potentially be replaced by one that will still achieve the desired outcome?

When you strip back all the decisions you are making, you will find that many of them could be made redundant by one clear higher-level decision. One way to look at it is; you make decisions, and you make choices. Macro decisions, micro choices.

Decisions are important, they carry weight. We exert emotional labour and effort in trying to ensure the decisions we make will pay off in the future. But choices? They often don’t matter. Can’t choose what clothes to wear? Take the ones at the top of the pile. Not sure what to do at the gym today? Buy a program that tells you what to do. Can’t choose a suitable format to present your project at work? Create and use a standard template for all presentations. The list goes on...

Save time and energy by making your meaningless choices more effortless. At the end of the day, you will have more time and effort to make useful decisions that matter.