Making decisions is exhausting! Learn a decision-making hack that you can use in any part of your life to reduce or even eliminate decisions.
Below is the podcast version of this article. The podcast explains things so much better than a blog post. I invite you to listen and also hear some examples and enjoy some laughs! You can subscribe to the Podcast by opening your favorite podcast app and typing “Balanced Working Moms” into the search or click here for a link to the podcast on iTunes.
Emotional Fatigue and Decision Making
We talk a lot about being tired. And there’s a reason for that. Many Moms who listen to this podcast or read this blog are bone tired.
After all, we’re running to the office. Running to get to the kids to school. Running to make dinner. Always running.
But most of our exhaustion, in my opinion, isn’t so much from running around. A lot of it stems from emotional fatigue.
And one of the biggest causes of emotional fatigue is decision-making. UGH!! Decisions.
Making A Decision
This episode was inspired when deciding what to make my friend for dinner after having a baby.
It was her 8th child and I was frozen in indecision. What could I make that would feed 10 people? It’s rare for everyone in my family to all like one dish that I’ve made — what could I make that 10 people would like? I wanted to give up and pretend I didn’t know she had a baby. LOL!!
Her baby was 2 months old before I got brave enough to just ASK her.
She told me to just make lasagna.
It couldn’t be that easy, could it? I know how to make that with my eyes closed.
I’m an overachiever and I couldn’t make her just lasagna. I also made blueberry cornmeal muffins, and my favorite pancake mix to keep in her freezer for easy meals. And dog treats for her two dogs.
After I came up with the menu, I had a thought. Since it was so hard to make this decision, what if EVERY time I needed to make someone a meal, I used the exact same menu?
This way of thinking was inspired by author Kendra Adachi. She teaches a concept she calls DECIDE ONCE.
And the premise is that decisions take a lot of effort (I’m sure you’re heard of decision fatigue!)
So where possible, DECIDE ONCE. And then it’s done.
Famous People Do This
This concept sounds SO OBVIOUS when I mention it.
But it’s not obvious when we’re living our lives.
Think about Steve Jobs, Barak Obama, Mark Zuckerberg. They were each famous for wearing the same type of clothing every day.
They did it purposefully to reduce decision fatigue. And in my opinion, also to reduce stress!!
And if it works for some of the most powerful and wealthy men in the world, let’s figure out how to make it work for us.
I think food is one of the BEST ways to implement this. Food requires a lot of decisions. There are so many ways to simplify food decisions.
For example, what about holiday dinners?
I cannot begin to tell you how many hours I’ve spent looking for Passover foods to make my “yearly” menu.
Last year for the first time I thought to myself — what if this is the LAST Passover menu I ever make?
Every year I’ll make the same thing for all 8 days of the holiday, unless we don’t like one of the dishes. If we don’t like something, we’ll just swap out that one thing, not the whole 8 day menu.
This way I can keep the menu, keep a master shopping list, and not have to waste hours looking for new recipes!!
See how obvious it sounds once you think it through?
And of course, you could apply this to any holiday: Christmas, Thanksgiving, Festivus.
Make a menu and then the foods become a tradition for your family and guests.
Neat concept, isn’t it? If you’ve ever struggled with holiday menus, you’re dancing a jig now, aren’t you?
What about decisions for other things?
How about “deciding once” what you’ll give for Wedding gifts? You can give a check for the same amount each time. Or perhaps instead you’ll always give your favorite crystal wine glasses.
Below are some other types of things you can choose to “decide once.”
- Stores you shop at.
- Your exercise routine.
- Birthday or Mother’s Day Gifts.
Get creative! The more things you “decide once,” the more time and energy you’ll save. You’ll be less stressed and it’ll also reduce emotional fatigue.
So, start deciding once and you’ll be amazed by how much easier life is, and most importantly, how much more balanced you feel.