How to solve decision fatigue today

On average, an individual makes 35,000 decisions on a daily basis. A person’s day is a wide collection of decisions and each moment is filled with countless opportunities just waiting to be seized. Unfortunately,making too many decisions comes at a cost.

What is Decision Fatigue?

Making decisions whether big or small can slowly wear people out and believe it or not, there is a real phenomenon known to psychologists as “decision fatigue.”  

When a individual’s energy and focus is diminished after making too many decisions, he or she is experiencing decision fatigue.

The Origin of Decision Fatigue

Decision Fatigue syndrome is a term created by Dr. Roy F. Baumeister, a social psychologist. The term is based on Sigmund Freud’s hypothesis of ego depletion. In a nutshell, ego depletion is the diminishing capacity of one’s willpower to make well-analyzed decisions or behave in a positive manner.

Michael Hyatt, former CEO of the reputable publishing company, Thomas Nelson, put it best when he said, “When our physical energy slumps, so does the quality of our decisions. Making decisions actually drains our physical energy. It becomes a vicious cycle.”  

Decision Fatigue and Willpower  

When people decide poorly, it is usually the result of the lack of willpower, but a recent study by Carol Dweck, a psychologist in Stanford University revealed that, “simply believing you have more willpower can improve your ability to make good choices, even when you are fatigued.”  

A change in mindset will improve your willpower to help you handle decision fatigue. Carol Dweck and her research team discovered that people could be trained to think differently and suggested that willpower from one’s self can be freely accessible and that taking in sugar would not improve one’s willpower. Carol Dweck further said, "We put them in different mindsets, either believing willpower is limited or believing it's more self-generating,"

The results suggest that people who were under the impression that willpower was abundant did not show any sign of depletion.Meanwhile, the people who believed that willpower was limited only performed better after taking in a sugary beverage.

This is good news to those who suffer from decision fatigue.

How to solve Decision Fatigue today

There are plenty of solutions to decision fatigue and while some of them may seem obvious, people tend to overlook them.  

Here are some of the solutions people should keep in mind to help with their decision fatigue:

  1. Plan ahead. Making decisions ahead of time will help manage the mental load moving forward. It is good practice to take-out the unnecessary decisions one makes in a day such as dressing up or eating food.When choosing clothes keep things simple and easy. When choosing what to eat remember to make use of the technology we have available. There are new and countless apps about meal planning and there are also businesses, which offer meal deliveries crafted to ensure quality nutrition in each meal, unlike fast food dining.  Planning ahead leads to fewer decisions and eliminates the stress of thinking about the small and trivial items.

  2. Simplify computer use. Computer distraction is one of the behaviors that adds to one’s decision fatigue within the day. These distractions take away precious time and energy that should be used in more important tasks later on. It is a good habit to minimalize one’s desktop and delete all unnecessary files or apps.  Organizing your desktop and keeping only the important files or apps will improve productivity and decision making efficiency.

  3. Create a routine. The best way to reduce the amount of unnecessary decisions one has to take within a day is to plan a proper routine. Sticking to a routine is the simplest way to improve daily productivity because it eliminates unnecessary decisions, and simplifies the necessary decisions one must make every day.  A good routine is a consistent routine.Creating a good routine is important but being consistent with the routine is just as important.

  4. Set-up personal deadlines. Impose personal deadlines on important decisions so that proper steps towards making intelligent decisions can be taken accordingly. Having this kind of system indecision making also eases the pressure because it removes the possibility of making hard last-minute decisions. Doing this keeps your mind leveled and ready to make the best decision possible. Setting and meeting these personal deadlines helps build a good habit when dealing with a big decision and it will reduce the unnecessary pressure along the way.

  5. Practice minimalism. Minimalism is a philosophy that relies on reducing excess materials in one’s personal home. Reducing unnecessary materials gives a person more time to focus on important life decisions—removing unnecessary materials reduces the chances of having to make unnecessary decisions. Only keeping the essential helps focus one’s perspective on what actually matters in their life.

  6. Don’t neglect exercise. Exercising has plenty of benefits and not just for the body,but also the mind. Exercising helps boost productivity and it also regulates regular hormone functions in the body, which all contribute to one’s overall well-being. Exercising helps clear the mind and improves overall mood, which will help in making the best decision possible. Exercise is a character building activity and the discipline gained can positively impact other aspects of one’s life.


Decision fatigue is a result of living in a fast paced society and making good decisions can either lead to prosperity or failure, but making good decisions is something that can be accomplished on a regular basis.  

Overcoming Decision Fatigue  

Planning accordingly, changing your mindset, removing unnecessary decisions, and following these 6 simple steps will surely be your best decision in finally solving decision fatigue today. 

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