Decision fatigue: Do you have it? Does your team?

Think fast: How many decisions would you say you make in a day?

Count ‘em all, from what kind of dressing to have on your salad at lunch to how to handle that difficult personality type.

Problem is, if you make too many salad-dressing level choices in a day, you might not make the best call when it comes to the problem employee.

Enter decision fatigue. It’s hitting folks everywhere – hard – from their personal to professional lives. And it can be particularly troublesome for women leaders who may agonize over their decisions more than others.

4 ways to fight the fatigue

Considering how important many of the choices you and your team make, you can’t afford to fall to it, so consider these strategies from Jory MacKay in her post “Decision Fatigue: What it is and how it’s killing your focus, motivation, and willpower”:

  1. Be cognizant of your timing. Have a large or impactful call to make? Try to do it early in the day, before your brain has been over-taxed with too many other decisions.
  2. Don’t overload agendas. Decision fatigue can even creep into a 30 minute meeting. First, don’t put too many things to tackle on a single meeting agenda. And just like when organizing your day, plan to address the most important issue first, rather than building to it.
  3. Simplify the choices be made. Everyone knows Mark Zuckerberg wears the same thing every day – one inconsequential decision he doesn’t have to make. No need to box up your wardrobe for Goodwill, but see where choices can be simplified or even eliminated in your workday.
  4. Focus on momentum. It’s not a question of having the willpower to make decisions, no matter what the size. It’s about having the momentum to regain control over your day – something decision fatigue robs us of. The good news? All you have to do is start the task. According to psychologists, once we start a task, our brain becomes obsessed with completing it.