5 Simple Steps You Can Take to Avoid Decision Fatigue

Why Knowing This Will Reduce Confusion to Help You Make Better Decisions

A simple way to improve your productivity daily and manage your mental and emotional energy better is to avoid decision fatigue.

If you consider how you function, it comprises many decisions that support what you want to accomplish each day.

Those decisions affect how well you manage your energy and how productive you are.


Have you ever felt mentally exhausted at the end of a day, and upon reflection, you didn’t know what caused you to feel that way?

Decision fatigue may be a contributing factor.

Sometimes, while deciding, you may overthink it and switch between options available, which can drain your mental energy.

If you continue to stay in a state of indecision, also known as ambivalence, it can lead to confusion and affect what you decide.

Decision fatigue is a mental state which weakens your ability to decide what’s best for you. You may put off making a decision or make a poor one because you’re not in the right frame of mind.

Causes of decision fatigue include:

  • Lack of clarity of your priorities.
  • Fear of making a wrong decision.
  • Lack of self-trust.
  • Low self-confidence.
  • Not having enough information to make an informed decision.
  • Making too many decisions.
  • Having self-doubt.

Any step you can take to avoid decision fatigue will reduce confusion and help you make better decisions.

avoid decision fatigue

If you don’t address decision fatigue, the costs include:

  • Additional stress.
  • Slow progress.
  • Wasted energy, which means you will feel mentally and emotionally tired a lot quicker.
  • Frustration, which can lead to self-criticism.
  • Having low self-trust and self-confidence which will continue to affect the decisions you make.

Here are five simple steps you can take to avoid decision fatigue, so you can feel confident in your ability to make intelligent decisions that will move you closer to the outcomes you want.

  1. Get a head start by planning your day the night before. Simple choices you need to make every day, such as what clothes to wear or what to eat, can be made the night before. The intention is to reduce how many decisions you make, especially at the start of a day.
  2. Know your main priorities and do them first. Whenever you experience confusion, it often leads to indecision. You can beat that by identifying what you need to do and by when. That will bring order to your mind, which means you will not waste mental energy trying to figure out what you need to do.
  3. Add systems or processes to automate non-critical decisions. Not all decisions you need to make daily are important. If you focus only on what’s critical, without worrying about non-critical decisions, that will improve your efficiency, which means you will do better, higher quality work. The intention is to simplify what you do and how you do them.
  4. Avoid making decisions when your energy level is low. Many people experience a dip in energy shortly after having a meal. That’s not a time to make important decisions as it can affect the rest of your day or evening. If you’ve planned your day, there won’t be a need to make decisions during that period.
  5. Make commitments instead of decisions. Most days are repetitive in terms of how you start the day, how you get to and from places, when you eat, or how you take care of yourself. If you make commitments, for example, exercising at a certain time, then you won’t need to decide whether to do it or not. The decision has already been made through your commitment.

Avoiding decision fatigue will help maintain your energy throughout the day, and also decrease stress. As you get into the habit of reducing how many decisions you make daily, you will improve your consistency and the quality of your decisions.

Your decisions affect all areas of your life, therefore it pays to know steps you can take to make better ones.

Action Step: Examine your decision-making process during a day. Notice how you go about your day and how many decisions you make. Use the ideas suggested here to reduce how many decisions you make daily, so you can make better ones.

Question: What are other steps you can take to avoid decision fatigue?

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