One of the ways I simplify my home, my schedule, and my life is by reducing the number of decisions I need to make on a daily, weekly, sometimes even hourly basis.
If you consider how many hundreds and thousands of little (and big) decisions we need to make every single day, it’s no wonder so many people suffer from “decision fatigue”. [Wikipedia definition here.]
Personally, I become more stressed, less happy, more flustered, and less patient as the day wears on — answering question after question, making decision after decision ALL. DAY. LONG!
After a particularly question-filled day, I often take my shower right after the kids go to bed, in order to relax a bit. After a little time “away”, I feel like I have enough brain power to tackle my to-do list and prepare for the next day.
If you feel like you struggle with decision fatigue, I hope the 3 tips in today’s post will help lighten your load and allow you to make fewer decisions throughout the day.
1. Limit the decisions you need to make.
This is easier said than done — but it truly makes a HUGE difference.
In my own life, I have majorly cut back on the types of clothing I have — I basically wear black, grey, navy, white or bright pink. This way, I know most of my clothing can mix and match, AND (best of all) I can shop our local thrift stores so quickly because they color-code all their clothing! So I just look for my colors, saving me so much time, money, energy and decisions!
Another example from my own life — I often eat the same things for breakfast and lunch each day, and rotate a handful of our family favorites for dinner. Fewer choices, fewer decisions!
We practice a simple bedtime routine that allow us to get our kids in bed on-time, every night, with little-to-no questions, fights, or arguments. And I try to make our home as “kid friendly” as possible so my children can get their own water cups, wash their own hands, reach their own gloves, and access their own shoes — meaning fewer things I need to do and fewer decisions I need to make each day.
And finally, I’ve gotten really good at saying “no” to things, people, activities, events, and organizations that don’t match up with my current season of life, my current goals, and my current energy level.
2. Make necessary decisions in advance.
Yes, I know you’re all shocked that one of my tips would be to “plan ahead” but it really is helpful in reducing decision fatigue! I honestly can’t think of any situation or stage of life that wouldn’t be greatly improved by planning ahead.
We pack lunches and pick out clothing the night before so there are no questions or arguments in the morning.
I plan our dinners by the week so I don’t have to wonder “what should we eat tonight” all day long. Our kids are also weirdly obsessed with knowing “what’s for dinner” so it’s helpful to be able to tell them earlier in the day so they can stop asking me!
I make my to-do list the night before so I don’t lay awake wondering if I forgot to do something or if I’ll remember everything I need to do the next day.
All of these examples sound very small and trivial — but put them together, and I really save a ton of mental energy throughout the day.
3. Delay unnecessary decisions until a more convenient time.
If at all possible, do NOT let yourself be guilted or pressured into doing something you haven’t had time to think about first.
Say, “let me think about this and get back to you” or “let me check my calendar” before agreeing to add something else to your plate.
I know there are so many great opportunities out there today (and we should all help when we can). However I usually think better and feel less overwhelmed when I can delay any non-urgent decisions until the next day.
Similarly, give yourself the challenge of waiting 24 hours before actually spending your hard earned money on something you think you really want to buy.
I find that I have a much clearer thought process in the morning, (after I’m able to rest and clear my brain) so if I can delay a decision until morning, I almost always will.
These concepts are all very simple. However, they WILL take conscious effort in order to implement them into your everyday life.
That said, I’m 100% confident your time and effort will be worth it.
Over time, fewer decisions each day will allow you more mental energy to devote to things you actually want to do… not just circulating the 80 bajillion questions, requests, and random facts floating around in your brain!
What will you do with all that extra brain space?!?!