Wednesday, May 18

Decision fatigue, what is it and how to save yourself from it

Life is full of decisions, something that can be both an asset and a source of stress. We each make millions of decisions throughout the day, even if it may not seem like it. Easy, difficult, challenging, they all affect us in some way throughout our lives.

These methods will help you manage stress

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The options, whatever the field they are, have grown more and more: what movie to watch, what clothes to wear, what to eat, which way to go, what detergent to buy (from all the available offer), etc., we all have many options around us In day to day.

According to an American study, people can take between 10,000 and 40,000 decisions per day and they can change tasks more than 300 times. At first glance, all these changes should make our life a little easier.

But do not go unnoticed by our brain because, like other muscles, it is also subject to exhaustion. The abundance of options can generate the opposite effect to the desired one. This is what psychologist Barry Schwartz calls the choice paradox.

In other words, when the willpower to make decisions is exhausted, we are faced with to a decision fatigue, especially associated with the difficulty of deciding what to watch on the different platforms that offer us thousands of options (series, films, documentaries, etc.).

What is decision fatigue?

Although, as a study by Frontiers in Psychology, this concept is still difficult to quantify and test and not yet a clinical disorderYes, certain phenomena associated with it have been observed.

A series of small decisions scattered throughout the day, which may seem harmless at first because they demand little of our mental energy, as the day progresses and we continue to expend this reserve of energy can decrease our mental capacity to make decisions. because it runs out.

Simply put, decision fatigue can be summed up as the impaired ability to make good decisions after a long session. That is, the more decisions we have to make, the worse it will be to weigh all the options and make a correct or adequate decision.

When we make too many decisions in a relatively short period of time, we can experience mental exhaustion. This makes it harder to stay focused, engaged, and motivated.

We are talking about mental, not physical, fatigue that often leads us to make incorrect decisions or, directly, to not make any, to procrastinate and leave things for another day.

A person with decision fatigue may feel tired, have mental confusion, or experience signs of mental fatigue. And, because this phenomenon can increase as a person makes more decisions, they may feel worse as the day progresses.

The 6 steps to avoid decision fatigue

Although decisions are an unavoidable part of everyday life, they are inescapable and necessary, there are ways to reduce the mental burden of these choices. Doing so will reduce not only the emotional toll but will also improve productivity and creativity at work.

  • Minimize the number of decisions Non-essentials that we must take each day can reduce the level of decision fatigue and, at the same time, lower the general levels of stress. By reducing the number of decisions we have to make, we free up space for the ones that matter.
  • Simplify decisions that we should take during the day: work from the same place every day, have an established weekly meal plan, etc. The more decisions we can automate, the more willpower we save.
  • Make decisions ahead of time: If we know that we have to make similar decisions throughout the week, we can consolidate the process and do it with foresight.
  • Establish a routineOrganizing the day and implementing a schedule will help us keep mind and body at a constant pace throughout the day. What time to get up, what to eat breakfast, when to exercise and what time to go to sleep are small decisions that will allow us to save energy and allocate it to more important aspects.
  • Tackling big decisions early in the dayResearch suggests that the best time to make tough decisions is first thing in the day. Thus, we prioritize what needs the most attention and energy at the beginning. A recent study of Cambridge University reveals, for example, that bank workers are more likely to grant a loan in the early hours of the day than later.
  • Eliminate distractionsLooking at your cell phone, browsing social networks or watching television (and having to decide which program to watch from the crowd they offer) can exhaust your will power for other tasks.

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