#45: Your Shortcut Menu of Solutions for Decision FatigueMar 30, 2023
What do you do if you find yourself Decision Fatigued?
Answering this can bring up all kinds of overwhelming options like "get rid of half your wardrobe" or "hire a million people to delegate stuff to."
While sometimes stuff like that is helpful, more often than not, what you really need is to approach your decision-making differently.
In this episode, you're getting Shortcut Menu of Options to keep in your back pocket, for whenever you need!
PS: We're coaching on Decision Fatigue & What to Do About It in a live online workshop next week (April 6th 2023) - Come! 🙌
Here's a recap of everything we cover in detail in this episode!
SHORTCUT SOLUTIONS based on last week's episode on the science of Decision Fatigue:
- Eat regularly to keep your nervous system's glucose supply up (the mental act of deciding is mega-energy consuming!)
- Take on the hardest decisions earlier in the day or closer after meal breaks
- Recognize when you DON’T want something to take lots of mental energy (green light spending less time on deciding today's lunch)
SHORTCUT MENU of Decision Solutions (based on the challenge du jour):
1. HAVE A DECISION SESSION (aka "DECISION BATCHING")
- Best if you're repeatedly drained or challenged or busied by decisions like what to do for dinner, how to keep the house clean…
- Decision Session = You work on a decision (or many) when you're up for it, the same way you schedule a meeting and then mentally & energetically prepare for it.
- Decision Batching = You make a bunch of decisions at one time, to save time & energy later
- Examples: Invest time in making ALL the dinner decisions for the week on Sunday, to free up nightly time & bandwidth. Invest money in paying for a cleaning service once a month, for the return of this problem being solved long-term. Invest some energy in deciding how you’re handling your social / family calendar this month, so it’s not a constant question to be dealt with every other day. Decide when you're going to figure out your family's summer plans (and put it on the calendar!)
2. PICK THE THEME
- Best if you're overwhelmed by options (planning an event/vacation or building a new project or driving anything creative forward)…
- This means making an overarching decision that puts parameters on otherwise endless options, and helps you tune into what you want
- Examples: Decide that you’re only catering with local vendors / that you’re going for a Mid-Century Modern look / that you’re using this particular template on PowerPoint / that you wanna do a fun-activity-beach vacay or a laze-in-the-cabin vacay.
3. MAKE AN EXECUTIVE DECISION
- Best if you're not as confident/fast/efficient with decisions because of how many people you’re involving in them.
- This is when you decide you do not need anyone’s input in order to proceed.
- Examples: This is how the laundry’s getting sorted. This is where we’re staying on vacation. This is the art I’m putting up in my office. I do not need anyone’s input. It’s ok if other people aren’t jazzed about this.
4. SET UP A DECISION SCHEDULE:
- Best if you're worried nothing’ll get done or you're frustrated nothing’s getting done fast enough…
- Sometimes we just need a deadline to make things happen. (Parkinson’s Law states that work will expand to fill the time it's given...the same goes for decisions!).
- Sometimes you need to schedule in TIME to think through things / talk with people / research options. Sometimes you need to know how long you want a decision to take! And sometimes you need to clarify expectations with other people involved, so everyone’s on the same page about the timeframe of a decision.
- Examples: Decide you’re going to have the kids’ summer activities set by May 1st. -OR- Decide it’s ok if this decision takes until June, and it happens organically. -OR- Decide I don’t want to work on this decision past this weekend.
5. MAKE A ONE-TIME DECISION (aka a "DECISION IN ADVANCE")
- Best if you're wasting time/energy because you keep back-tracking, second-guessing, considering alternatives, getting distracted, perfectionizing…
- This is a choice you’re making that is officially NOT up for negotiation. I think of this as putting bowling bumpers, when what’s most important is getting down the lane. Getting where you’re going. Getting the thing done.
- Examples: Decide in advance exactly what you’re going into Target or onto Amazon to get, and do not waiver from that decision. Decide how you’re going to track expenses with your partner and then DO that. Use your money meetings to talk about money, not talk about “if the way you’re doing it is working or not.” Pick the microphone you’re gonna get and CLOSE that decision. It’s done now. Decide ‘this is how I respond to invites to things I don’t wanna go to.”
6. DECIDE WHEN TO EVALUATE
- Best if you're too anxious about things not working well enough
- Evaluating as you implement is rarely effective or efficient. You want to know what mode you’re in: Implementation phase (my clients and I call this experimenting, which is really just living your life and seeing what happens), or Evaluation phase (meaning you pause implementing to consider what’s working / what might need changing).
- Decide WHEN you’ll evaluate, either using a date or some other metric.
- Examples: I’m trying out this method for X now, and once I’ve sent in 30 auditions/queries, I’ll evaluate. We’ll do every-other-week calls with the family during April and I’ll see how I feel about it after that. I’m committing to this workout plan and won’t change it unless I’m 100% sure I don’t like it.
- We're Coaching on Decition Fatigue! Sign up FREE here 🎉
- Work with me to feel better, calmer & more deliberate about your decisions
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