I really thought that after all my life experience making decisions, I’d be better at it by now. Apparently, teachers make —- 1500 decisions per teaching day and I can believe it!* But lately simple decisions have been causing me to waffle back and forth: frozen.
What’s a simple decision for me? It’s one that doesn’t have much lasting impact. Should I buy a muffin and walk to the beach with my daughter, or do our beach walk first and get a muffin on the way back? It really doesn’t matter which choice I make. We will still have our walk to the beach and muffin. I wonder why this is a difficult decision?
What does science say about this phenomena? Decision Fatigue** describes decision-making as like energy stored in a battery. The more decisions you make in a day the more of the battery you use. As you get tired, it becomes harder to find the energy to make the decisions. The scientists are still conflicted about whether Decision Fatigue is a real thing (ironically, they can’t decide).
Decision Fatigue would definitely describe how I felt after a busy day of teaching. There are things that you can do to stream-line your day, lessen the number of choices that you need to make and leave energy to make the most important ones:
- wear a simple wardrobe
- plan your meals in advance
- be well-rested
- reduce the distractions of social media.
This is useful information for people who work in busy stressful jobs. But that’s not me, at the moment.
For me, making decisions are most often complicated by my emotions around the choice and if someone else will be affected by my choice. If I’m feeling rushed or worried about leaving for a special event, I can guarantee that choosing which clothes to wear will be difficult. In this situation, there are emotions and a time crunch involved. There are probably other people waiting for me too. In a situation where my decision involves someone else, it becomes more complicated. “One of the reasons that people are indecisive is because they’re trying to please more than one person at the same time,” says relationship expert April Masini. These reasons for my recent indecisiveness ring true for me: emotions, time, others.***
My Decisive Plan
I do like finding a plan to help myself and I hope it might be useful for others.
- Step back and breathe, when my emotions are involved in a decision.
- Give myself time to respond. (It’s ok to ask for time to consider my choice.)
- Notice who I’m trying to please and assess whether I actually need to please them or just myself.
I’m not an expert in all of this. I’m just trying to muddle through using tools that seem right for me. Let me know, in the comments, how you cope with everyday indecisions.
I am sending this to everyone I know ! Truly brilliant and so truthful!!!
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