By Daria Campbell
Can you decide if you have decision fatigue?
I love my job, but I have recently noticed that when I get home, I can literally stare off into space for about a half hour. For the first time I find my brain to be honestly burned out and tired. The most amount of cerebral energy I can muster up after a full workday is to play a game on my phone until I go to bed.
This is not really like me. I usually have projects I want to work on or like to have long chats with my daughter to catch up for the day but lately I am just useless after 5 pm. I was telling this to a colleague of mine and she suggested that I had Decision Fatigue. I was intrigued so I looked it up.
The definition of Decision Fatigue is the difficulty in making a good decision experienced because of the number of decisions one needs to take. In other words, when I spend all day making decisions at work when I come home I don’t really want to make any decisions for the rest of the evening so in my case my entire brain kind of shuts down. This is what I am personally experiencing and you may not be able to relate at all but if you do find yourself in the same sort of situation I have looked for some ways to help you.
By the way, many people have publicly stated that they have suffered from decision fatigue from Steve Jobs to Barack Obama. So, there is no shame is being self-aware that you may be suffering from it.
I found that there were a number of articles on Decision Fatigue on the internet and they range from all areas of life from parenthood to people trying to declutter their closet, so I decided to just give you the tips that I have started using. If you want to dig, deeper go for it.
- I.S.S (keep it simple, sunshine) Sometimes we overthink things and when you are doing it all day your mind will just shut down when you have to stop or keep revving when you want it to stop. Either way simplify your life as much as you can.
- Preplanning is very helpful. Ok so when I have the energy and drive, I make all of my outfits in my closet so that in the morning I can just pick up a hanger and get ready. Sure sometimes I put the outfit on and go “yeah that is not going to work” but after you get used to certain clothes and how they look on you it gets easier and easier. This goes for prepping your lunch the evening before as well, so you just can grab and go. Sure, this doesn’t work for everyone but at least those are 2 less decisions you have to make every day.And don’t forget about To Do Lists they are great at the end of a workday, so you are prepared for the next morning and don’t have to take work home with you in your head.
- Acknowledge when you have decision fatigue. Own it. Sometimes I just have to say to my daughter and husband when they want to talk about upcoming plans, and they want my input I have to ask them to ask me later or tomorrow morning because I honestly can’t make any more decisions.
- Projects are amazing. If you want to stop decision fatigue when you come home, then have a list of fun and easy projects you can work on when you get home. Something mindless and easy that you do not have to invest too much thought to. Why do you think Adult coloring became so popular? People were looking for a brainless activity that at the same time stimulated the brain.
- Know your cycles. When are you at your best? I am a morning person 100% so I try to do all my best work before 2pm where I can feel myself shutting down. Are you a morning, afternoon, evening or late-night person? When are you at your peak?
In conclusion, I hope this helped you for the next time you cannot understand why you brain just does not want you to do anything after a long day at work. Do not feel bad just own it and get a good night sleep, you will be back to your old self in no time.