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#9 THREE Strategies to Reduce Decision Fatigue

 

As an entrepreneur, business owner, solopreneur, consultant, coach - you are making decisions all day long....from what you’ll have to lunch, to your social media strategy, to what tax software to use.

There is no shortage of decisions to be made. 

 

How can you make sure that you are working at your best when it comes to the decisions you make?

 

In this episode you will learn:

  1. What decision fatigue is
  2. Why you care about decision fatigue and how it is impacting your business and life
  3. 3 strategies to help you reduce decision fatigue RIGHT NOW

 

Decision Fatigue is Messing with Your Life

Decision fatigue is the idea that after making a bunch of decisions that you become tired and then your ability to make quality decisions decreases.  There is lots of science behind this concept that you can check out HERE and HERE.

But, bottom line, is that your willpower is influenced by more than just your inherent strength and self-control.  There are lots of factors that influence your willpower - environment, if you are tired, if you are hungry, if you’ve had a crappy day.  And I’m guessing you didn’t need science to tell you that. 

We’ve all experienced this.  You have a long day in which everything has gone wrong and it’s dinner time and you are starving and the kids are starving and you were totally going to cook an amazing healthy meal and then go for a bike ride, but instead you order pizza and watch tv.  That’s not a judgement. We’ve all had a version of this. 

Action Step: I’d like for you to consider shifting your mindset about willpower or self-control or whatever it is that you call it that drives you to get stuff done.  Begin to think of it as a resource that you can both nourish or deplete.  How are you going to spend this resource?  How can you make sure it doesn't get wasted on unnecessary decisions?

 

Stop Wasting Your Time and Energy


As a busy entrepreneur, you only have so much energy. 

You have important decisions to make all day long.

What email service provider will you use?  What font is best for your rebrand? What pricing structure do you want to use for your next offer?  How can you best help your customers or clients?

 

You don’t have extra energy to waste on decisions that don’t matter.  And it can be soooooo easy to lose energy to decisions that might not matter.  Last week I spent 2 hours trying to decide on, I kid you not, the best kitty litter for my cats.  Amazon was out of what I normally order for my subscribe and save, and so I had to pick something new.  This is for something that my cats are going to poop in. Why? Why did I spend time on that? Why did I waste my mental energy on that?  The cats are happy with my decision, but still. It’s a little crazy.  

Here are some great tips about how to stop drowning in information.

 

3 Strategies to Reduce Decision Fatigue:

1. Meal prep - When you meal prep you get rid of having to decide what to eat.  Think about how much time you have lost in your life to the following “What do you want for dinner?  I don’t know, what do you want?” Or, thinking to yourself, “Nothing sounds good, what should I eat?”  

This can also lead to very poor decisions. When I’m tired, and it’s the end of a long day, I am more likely to go for pizza or Chipotle if they are the path of least resistance. 

Meal prepping is a great way to stop wasting your decision making energy on food. Meal prepping doesn’t have to be boring. My favorite meal prepping book is Lunch by Olivia Mack McCool. You spend 2-3 hours cooking on Sunday to get 5 different meals, which she considers lunch, but that we use for lunch and dinner.  It has changed our lives!

2. Minimalist clothing or a capsule wardrobe - There are people all over Pinterest obsessed with limiting their wardrobe for a variety of reasons.  And, I’m one of them! Which you can check out HERE.  There are a bunch of ways to come at the idea of having a smaller wardrobe. The concept of creating a capsule wardrobe is basically that you would have a certain number of pieces in your wardrobe that all worked together.  

Here’s what I love about limiting my wardrobe: I only have things in it that I love and that I look good in. Meaning, there is never that moment where I have to remember “Oh, yeah, this is the sweater that makes me look pregnant,” or, “I forgot that these pants give me a wedgie.”  I know that what I put on is pretty much fool proof - it all looks good on me and I feel good when I wear it. I don’t spend any time standing in front of my closet anymore. I just grab some stuff and go. I don’t have a specific number of anything. I do however, have 5 of one shirt in different colors. LOL. But it looks so good on me!! If you’ve seen a video of me on my Facebook Page or my website, then you’ve totally seen this shirt.  Marie Kondo, who created the KonMari Method, has a great way to think about approaching ALL of the stuff in your home.  I used it for my closet, but then for the entire house.

3. Noticing what causes decision fatigue and then finding a way to limit it.  I have two awesome examples of this. One is when I’m trying to select a new show to watch on Netflix.  I’m scrolling through and nothing seems like what I want to watch right then. Somehow an hour will pass and I still have not watched anything!  Seriously? Then I’m frustrated that I didn’t watch anything. And Now I’m just frustrated in general and have lost energy that I could have been using for something else to the chaos of Netflix.  Example two is going on to Pinterest to “just find a quick recipe” and emerging from a Pinterest coma 2 hours later with no recipe but a great idea for how to remodel our bathroom. These are two things that I KNOW suck away my energy and decision making powers.  I no longer do them until after 4pm, because before then I need to be working!! If I use up my decision making energy on things like this first thing in the morning, then I am going to be significantly less productive.

 

It comes down to this:

How do you want to spend your limited energy?  Don’t let it get sucked up by things that aren’t a priority.  

 

Want more details and resources?  Head on over www.ellen-leonard.com/podcast for the show notes and more.   

 

Don’t forget to hit subscribe so you don’t miss out future episodes full of actionable tips to help you do what you love without sacrificing your health or losing your mind. 

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I wish you a healthy, happy, and mostly sane week!

 

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