Four Tips to Reduce Decision Fatigue:
The brain has limited resources for decision-making. Unfortunately, the world is full of choices that must be made. Due to these two factors, it is easy to feel decision-fatigue whether making a large, difficult decision or smaller, easier decisions. Here are four tips to reduce decision fatigue and will help keep the decision making practice healthy and less tiresome.
Start from Intention
Intentions are more powerful than goals. This is because intentions include invisible elements like connection, emotion, meaning, and identity. Intensions aren’t only about outcomes. They are also about purpose and journey. Difficult conversations greatly benefit from defining the goal and the intention. An example is if a manager must discuss performance with an employee. The goal is to improve the employee’s performance, but the intention is to help improve the employee’s performance by providing support and helping uncover any hindering obstacles.
Face the Truth
If you can’t face the truth then you can’t accurately measure your starting place. To state it plainly, you can’t fix what you don’t acknowledge. Part of facing the truth is understanding how you experience a situation. This kind of truth-telling requires self-awareness. Building off the previous employee performance example, if a manager denies they feel resentful about their employee’s behavior that resentment can come through in the conversation. A conversation shroud in resentment and nervousness (on the employee side) is not productive.
Making choices is taxing on the brain. The brain only has so much decision-making energy. Even the small, seemingly insignificant choices that are made each morning (what to eat for breakfast, what kind of coffee to drink, etc.) take away a little bit of that energy. By the time the end of the day comes around, decision-fatigue has struck. Consciously constructed constraints helps speed up the decision making process, reduces mental fatigue, and can even increase creativity. A great example of constructed constraints is when tackling a new project. There are so many ways to use your time on this project that it can be hard to decide where or how to start. If you break your time down into hour increments, it helps you to focus on a specific task. This way you can focus on completing one task at a time rather than feeling overwhelmed by starting several different tasks at once.
Decision-making is easier when you give up the need for comfort. Even though the previous decision-making habits you had may not have been healthy, they probably felt comfortable. And breaking these habits can cause discomfort. It is okay to feel this way. Change is not easy, but once you commit to a healthier decision-making process you become a more effective employee, leader, and overall person.
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