2021 is almost over and I can’t wait! Truth be told, this past year has been so much harder for me than 2020 ever was. I feel like I haven’t been able to get it together, can you relate?
After lamenting for some time about my inability to make decisions, procrastinating and having a general feeling of “fogginess” I found out about a thing called “decision fatigue.” Apparently many people, myself included, are suffering from this as of late. While this past year has been incredibly challenging, in some ways quarantine was relatively simple because the rules were pretty straightforward in terms of what you could and could not do. As the country opens back up, it adds a lot more variables to approaching decisions in life. Even the most basic decisions—going to the grocery store or getting together with family or friends—is now a lot more complicated than it’s been in the recent past.
Decision fatigue occurs when decision-making becomes increasingly difficult, leading to mental and emotional strain. And it can happen more often than you might think. The average person makes more than 35,000 decisions each day. (And each decision— no matter how small—requires time and energy.)
Everyday I come across someone who seems to be having challenges one way or another about making a decision, keeping a commitment or staying on task. Most recently, that someone has been me! What should I wear? What should I cook for dinner? Should I go to sleep? Should I go into the office or work from home? Should I have my client appreciation event? Will anyone come? Should I celebrate Christmas with my family? Too many decisions! All of these decisions that I found increasingly difficult to make left me anxious beyond measure. The enormity of this past year finally caught up with me.
As difficult as the past few weeks have been, I found comfort in learning about decision fatigue and knowing that I am not alone. I read an article that gave suggestions on how to combat decision fatigue
. The premise is to eliminate as many small decisions as you can to save your energy for big decisions.
Here were the tips provided:
- Pick out your clothes the night before. That way, you don’t have to try on several outfits and use all of your energy before the day gets started.
- Reserve the morning for the most important decisions. In the morning, you’re refreshed and energized. If you need to make a difficult decision, do so when you’ve had nourishment and your head is clear.
- Don’t make decisions that you don’t have to—delegate. At work let co-workers make some decisions. At home, split up decisions with your partner.
- Create daily routines. It might sound boring, but try sticking to the same breakfast each morning. Get up at the same time, exercise at the same time. Creating routines will allow you to move throughout your day without making a decision about everything that you do.
- And finally, don’t be so hard on yourself. Give yourself grace. One of the best things we can do is give ourselves—and others—the benefit of the doubt. We’re doing the best we can, and we can’t ask for much more.
Friends, if any of you have experienced this as well I want you to know that you are not alone! I hope this information is helpful and please know that you are always welcome to reach out to me to talk, vent, ask for prayer or simply to have someone listen. I’m here for you! We’re in this TOGETHER!
With love & grace,
p.s. I didn’t end up having my client appreciation event because I took too long to decide and then it was too late – I’m sorry! I promise to make it up to all of you in 2022! 🙂