Are you overwhelmed with all of the decisions you have to make as soon as you walk into work? You might have decision fatigue. In one day have you ever felt like you’ve made so many decisions that it would suffice for a whole month? Each decision we make adds to decision fatigue.
According to Wikipedia, in decision making and psychology, decision fatigue is when the quality of decisions deteriorate after a long period of decision making. Thus, causing less favorable decisions for example later in the day in comparison to favorable ones earlier in the day.
4 Examples Of Decision Fatigue:
- Reduced ability to make trade-offs
- Decision avoidance
- Impulse purchasing
- Impaired self-regulation
Project managers are required to making a lot of decisions. In any management role, especially project management, there will always be adjustments made to the project which requires more decisions.
It can become very stressful which may cause you to not make a decision at all. If you’re managing a project of any size you will always have a number of critical decisions that can affect the outcome of the project. So to help you avoid mental burnout here are 6 steps to help you overcome decision fatigue from the Huffington Post.
1. Make Big Decisions In The Morning: With a fresh mind and no stresses from the day’s activities yet, this is a great routine to set in place. Have your most important tasks listed – maybe 3 or 4 and commit to completing those before end of day.
2. Choose The Simpler Option: What’s the easiest thing to do right now? If you’re not a morning person and need some time to get into gear, choosing to tackle lesser priority items on our list can help free up your mind when you have to tackle the bigger items. Big decisions require some time, so focus on the decisions that you can make immediately that don’t require a lot of thought.
3. Limit Your Options: The magic number is 3. If you have too many decisions that needs to be made narrow them down to the top 3 that require a solution immediately. This helps to make your decisions making less overwhelming and manageable.
4. If It’s Not On Your To-Do, The The Decision Is No (At Least For The Day): If something comes up out of the blue and you need to make a decision immediately so a project won’t be delayed then that automatically becomes one of your top priorities. However, if a task or decision arises that doesn’t affect the core responsibilities or top 3 major decisions then saying no to something that can be scheduled for a later date is not a bad thing. Not getting distracted by simpler decisions will help you focus on the overall outcome of your projects.
5. Done Is Better Than Perfect: If your task list is 80% complete but you didn’t get all the item at the top of your list, just accept it. Perfectionism can lead to procrastination especially if it’s a task that can be done at a later date or possibly delegated. Don’t fall into analysis paralysis and end up taking no action at all.
6. Make Your First Decision Work: Once you make a choice follow through to complete that decision to the end. Of course problems can arise that complicate the task and probably require more time, effort, or even outside help; if that’s the case move on to the second choice. Reschedule an action on the first choice for a later time when you are able to figure out how to move forward successfully.
Decisions fatigue is not something that will just go away but we sure can learn how to manage it so that it doesn’t interfere with our work and personal life.
How do you handle/overcome your decision fatigue? Leave a comment below and let us know.
“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” — Tony Robbins