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Decision Fatigue

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Question Mark

I ready this really awesome article on Mark’s Daily Apple. It really resonated with me. I’ve been telling people for quite a while that I get overwhelmed easily if I have choices. I will spend months trying to decide things and either decide or forget it all together. I’m a nightmare to go shopping with because I cannot make up my mind if there are any choices. I hadn’t really put much thought into this until I read Mark’s post today. I have decision fatigue.

This weekend was a prime example of my decision making, or lack thereof. I needed to make the decision of whether or not to paint the paneling in my laundry area and hallway. Now mind you, the paneling doesn’t look bad so it’s not necessary. I spent all day Saturday trying to decide if I would go to the store to get the primer to start the process. In the end, nothing ended up painted, including the half wall that needs to be painted. I have decided to leave the paneling and just paint the half wall, but it was such an exhausting process that I ended up paralyzed on the subject.

The other thing that I have personally noticed with this decision fatigue is when I find something that works, I stick to it. I will eat the same thing for breakfast every day if that means I don’t have to decide what to eat. AdvoCare has made that easy with Meal Replacement Shakes, but when I do the 24-Day Challenge and those first 10 days I get to pick what I eat, I’m toast. I do the same thing with dinner, some nights I don’t eat, simply because I cannot decide. It’s very real thing. I really liked in the article when he talks about how many decisions we make without realizing it. This is what the article says:

“You get up in the morning, brush your teeth, wash your face, trudge to the kitchen for something warm and stimulating to drink, and find yourself awash in decisions that must be made.

Coffee or tea? Coffee.

Single-origin microlot Guatemalan light roast or organic instant French roast? Single origin.

French press or Chemex pour over? French press.

Bulletproof coffee, Primal egg coffee, black, or heavy cream? And so it goes. By the time we decide what to wear, which route to take the dogs on their morning walk, whether to eat for breakfast, what to eat for breakfast, whether to bike or drive to the office, whether to dive right into work email or mess around on Facebook, where to go for lunch, we’re exhausted. And by the end of the day, we’re making poorer choices. The cookies at the checkout line are harder to resist. Take-out sounds better than cooking dinner. Vegging out in front of the TV beats Scrabble with the spouse. If we get around to working out, we probably won’t go as hard or last as long. The infinite freedom of endless options has degraded our ability to make good decisions and exercise self-control.”

This really hit home to me. No wonder I cannot make decisions! I’m too exhausted. I encourage all of you to read the article at Mark’s Daily Apple and see if this is you and how you can improve your decision making.

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