How to Deal With Decision Fatigue (and Being Overwhelmed!)

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You're grocery shopping. A no-stress, weekly or bi-weekly errand. You should be done under an hour. Twenty different labels of honey stare back at you. Pick me! Pick me! they scream. I'm 100% natural, but refined! I'm 98% natural, but unrefined!

I'm blueberry flavoured!

You're in the midst of the simplest task: paying for one class of the yoga class you just completed. Or, the well-coiffed girl at the front counter cocks her head slightly. Do you want to do two classes for $30? I know you're only in town for five days, but maybe you'll come back to another class during your vacation time?

Will I? you question yourself. Am I not being good enough for only taking one yoga class during my vacation? Do I need to do more? Am I a fool for turning down this deal?

Too many choices. You're paralyzed with fear. Your to-do list accumulates with no satisfied stroke of crossed-off items in sight. You end up curling up in the fetal position and doing absolutely nothing for the rest of the day. 

Every decision -- even the smallest ones -- requires mental time and energy. Too much time deciding this or that can melt our willpower. Even the smallest task such as throwing dishes in the dishwasher or slapping together a sandwich can feel like the most exhausting chore, so how can we expect to get any challenging items on our list done?

 

How can we simplify the flow of our life?

It's all about changing your mindset and attitude. 

1. ADVANCE PLANNING

Planning in advance can be done for any aspect of life!

Food:

Find yourself without time to cook a creative and healthy meal when you come home from work? Take a few hours to make a list of simple, quick, delicious meals; then break them down into their separate components: carbohydrates you will be using (rice, quinoa, spaghetti, etc), toppings (veggies), sauce, and meat. You'd be surprised at how many dishes have the same base of carbohydrates, but just use different kinds of sauce and toppings. From there on, you can mix and match depending on your mood of the day!

If you are the super keen type, you can cook a large quantity of your meals on the weekends and refrigerate so it's just pop-and-go in the microwave on the weekdays.

Clothing:

Take a few hours to go through your wardrobe and put together outfits in advance for every occasion - casual, work, parties, etc. You can take photos of these and keep them handy in a folder on your phone for quick access.

Entertainment:

Every time you hear of a movie or book you are interested in, jot it down on a list in the Notes app of your phone. This saves time instead of wading around in a big sea of content on Netflix and spending your valuable time researching what to watch instead of actually watching.

Exercise: 

Got a type of exercise you're interested in, or want to work on specifics of your body while working out? This requires more of a discipline about your routine. Make a schedule of what you want aspect you want to work on for each workout day and stick to it!

Dates: 

Gifts:

Your best friend's birthday is suddenly -- today! Her party is in two hours and you still need time to get ready and run to the store! 

What to do? As with anything, when you see items that would make good gifts, write it down on a list! iPhones is already equipped with the Notes app, but if you're on Android, ColorNote is a great app to use. It colour codes your notes and has checklist templates where you can cross each item off your list as well.

 

2. CUT DOWN YOUR WARDROBE

I thought having more of a variety in my wardrobe would be beneficial, but there have been many a day where I show up late to work or meetings because I don't know what I'm going to wear.

I took some time to really go through each item in my closet and ask myself, do I see myself wearing this in the next year or so? Things that I have worn 0 -2 times since I bought them? Gone. I had a lot of trendy or cute looking clothes, but either they didn't fit me as well as I initially thought, or I didn't feel comfortable or like myself in them. Those would have to go, too.

Once I put my wardrobe through the cutting board, I felt free. Every single item that stayed I felt amazing in, and most importantly, I was comfortable. Less options meant more time to get ready in the morning.

3. CHANGE UP YOUR ENVIRONMENT

Seeing the same four walls over and over again can really deplete your creative energy and mood. Keeping yourself vibrating at a higher energy works wonders for making decisions. Change up the location of where you work, read, play. Trust us, you will feel renewed.

 

4. DELETE EXTRAS ON YOUR PHONE AND COMPUTER

That app that you're not using anymore on your phone or tablet? Multitudes of copies of files on your computer that you will never look at again? Delete them! Remember, Point A to Point B. You don't want to spend time looking for things instead of doing what needs to be done.

 

5. BINARY DECISION MAKING

I recommend this one for the easy choices only (give more analysis and humanness to the harder decisions, you don't want to be completely black and white.) When faced with easy choices, give yourself two options. What to eat for breakfast? Omelette or pancakes? More brain power to save for the harder choices later! 

 

6. DECIDE AFTER EATING!

You function best with a meal in your stomach! Leave difficult decisions til after you've eaten.

 

And there you have it! Happy de-stressing, everyone!

 

 

 

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