Deciding to Deal with Decision Fatigue

Each person on a team needs to be able to show a willingness to make decisions, not just the leader.


The average adult makes well over 100 decisions each day, not all of them are made consciously because habit and avoidance or procrastination are decision types too.  You start your decisions for the day with the choice of how you respond to the alarm and go from there.  Of course there is research that shows our ability to make sound decisions can actually be eroded by the need to make a large number of decisions, a sort of decision weariness.  The official wording is decision fatigue.


Being the President would require the need for making a large number of decisions in any given day, here is his take on reducing the need for smaller, daily decisions:

“You need to focus your decision-making energy. You need to routinize yourself. You can’t be going through the day distracted by trivia.”

~ Barack Obama


Thankfully you aren’t the President, but it is still a good thing to think about how you perform on a busy day when many different things are thrown at you – do you carefully consider each new request, or does your brain get more and more focused on how busy you are and actually consider the activities you are undertaking less and less?  Or, to counteract decision weariness, do you prioritize decisions and apply some simple concept to address routine decisions?


You need to take a look at the methods and tools that you are using to make decisions and take it another step.  Each of us, whether we realize it or not has a method, but we need to evaluate that method for effectiveness – you must establish your own criteria.


“Fact is, some lives are so filled with impedimentary drama and ancillary decision-making that there is little time left over for work.”

~ Robert Genn


How do you make sure that you aren’t falling into a rut?  That you are saving your decision making energy for the helpful decisions and not expending it all on what to wear that day, what to have for lunch, what email to answer first?


Sometimes the best decision that you can make is to decide your own criteria for making good decisions.  And part of that is to make sure you conserve your decision making energy for the right decisions.


My original post was on 12/14/12 – Decisions, Decisions, Decisions.


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