Decision Fatigue

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1 year ago

Tired of Freedom

More than 2000 years ago, as humans we had a pretty limited amount of decisions to make in order to survive as a species, from arranging in tribes, to hunting for food or later settling down and adopting agriculture as a new source of sustenance. However, all that has changed, specially since the 20th century. Our life quality has incremented from the uncertainty of making It alive of even our first decades of existence to the guarantee that without any unfortunate situation or ailment we'll be able to reach more than 70 years easily as It has been proved in the average life expectancy index wordly, leaving us not only richer though smarter and healthier. However, this advancement comes with a price. With all this advancement we have come to the point where we have to make a lot of "micro" choices in the day, leaving our brain more and more fatigued as It progresses and taking away from the quality of our judgement as we go from one option to another, something we can define as a decision fatigue. In this article I'll talk about what this term really means, the detrimental effects that this phenomena can have in ourselves and how to fight It through a series of tips, Let's begin:


What Decision Fatigue Is:

As I've explained previously, Decision Fatigue refers to the sense of depletion that our mind experiments when presented with a lot of decisions over a short period of time, thing which ultimately affects the quality of the decisions made over that period. In the modern world, this is caused by the incremental amount of choices we have to make, adding to the important ones those that really add up little to us, like deciding what brand of clothes to buy or what specific product is the best return for our money in a supermarket. By having to make a decision between all those options not really worth fussing over, when the time comes for a really significant decision, we'll be much more affected by our fundamental urges and will commit a greater amount of mistakes along the way.


Now that we know what this expression refers to and how It has a negative effect in the way we approach life, we can begin to talk about a series of strategies to combat this, going from reducing the amount of options you're presented with to making the most important decisions of the day first thing in the morning:


1.- Reduce the decisions that are not worth your time:

Most of us can acknowledge that a great deal of the things that we have to choose between over the course of our lifespans won't be very meaningful to our journey in the future, Being pretty mundane activities or products that usually don't have too significant of a difference when comparing different iterations of them. How do you get rid of those little decisions? Well, you either eliminate them definitively or you make them no longer a choice. By taking just an option everyday and not looking sideways in order to find what else is in the menu, you won't have the burden of indecision by your side. Reducing the amount of little decisions we have to make in a day can be benefitial, as It frees space in your mind, making It easier for you to analyze in detail those choices that will really affect the way you know and live life.

2.- Most Important decisions taken earlier in the day

When you have a big event or project coming up, the worst thing you can do when taking a decision is to wait for later in the day. The amount of choices you will have to take in the interval of time from the moment you say that to when you actually take the decision will drain your ability to make solid judgements and will reduce the odds of you taking the right course for It. A better way to deal with this is to take a decision for earlier in the morning, when your mind feels most refreshed and you are able to apply your energy to the process of finding the best solution for a particular situation.

3.- Pay attention to what triggers "Bad Decisions"

Look at your emotional responses when presented with scenarios where you have to choose between two or more options and you take the worst one. It can be what resulted in a bad marriage, a career that you don't enjoy or something so simple as taking "junk" food over something healthy for you. All these decisions that have a poor outcome have a reason to them and mostly these lie inside yourself, from feelings of not being worth of something better, to having an impulsive personality that propels you to take instant gratification over delayed joy, by taking a look at yourself and analyzing objectively why you had choosen a particular path, you'll be more mindful when presented with new obstacles and differentiate those things that are good for you from those that are bad.


I hope that with this article I could have given you some insight into how a great amount of decisions in a day has affected our way of living life and how to actually make It better by eliminating those things not worth thinking over. Thank you for your support and good luck!

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