Are you decision fatigued? | Tricia Murray

Are you decision fatigued?

Before I went way on holiday for half term, I got a couple of requests for some exciting projects (details I’ll share soon).

I realised a couple of things… the first was that I was close to reaching my capacity in terms of what I could manage (if you want free training on capacity… let me know and I’ll send it to you) and I was getting close to decision fatigue (ie I literally couldn’t make any more decisions).  

Here’s what the old me would have done…. Tried to finish off everything that she was doing and respond to all the requests, stayed awake until late to finish everything off, felt the need to reply everything, shouted at her kids, felt resentful that I was the only one that did everything and ended up arriving on holiday feeling stressed, overwhelmed and fairly pissed off.  

Here’s what I did.

I set boundaries about what I would and wouldn’t do by prioritising what was important and what could wait.  Anything that could wait, I’d tell them I’d get back to them after I got home from holiday.  I even asked one person if they could contact me on my return which she did.

Result… got everything I wanted to done before I went on holiday and slept well the night before I went, packed up and ready by 10am, and didn’t scream at the kids in the morning or fall out with my husband. Win.

Decision fatigue is something that’s rarely spoken about, yet I’m aware that I often go to a place where I literally ‘can’t think’ and I see it a lot with many of the women I work with. It leads to you making poor decisions about your life, such as what you do with it, what you buy, what you eat/drink, your time and so much more.  

Both Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg famously decided on ‘uniforms’ to wear to lessen the number of decisions they needed to make each day. Barack said “You’ll see I wear only grey or blue suits, I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.”

When you think about how many decisions you are making each and every day, it’s frightening and it’s no surprise by the end of the day why you literally can’t think because you are decision fatigued out and the result is often anxiety, rage, overwhelm or complete shut down.

Here’s some strategies to help you:

  1. Notice that you’re at the end of being able to make decisions through getting conscious about it 
  2. Assess where you can make less decisions such as clothes or food (be more Barack)
  3. Decide on a weekly routine/schedule so nothing is ever a decision about your time
  4. Develop boundaries around your time, energy and headspace
  5. If you have a partner or older kids, divide up responsibilities so you don’t need to make decisions about everything
  6. Prioritise – I love the Eisenhower Matrix – loads of great examples of this online

Sometimes even understanding this is an issue is enough to help you just be that tiny bit more compassionate to yourself.

I can help you directly shift your thinking.  You can start right now, for free, through all my free resources.

Much love, Tricia xxx