You may have heard of decision fatigue before and have actually experienced it, or maybe you are rolling your eyes at the concept.
I’m going to show you here how this is actually working against your willpower, but first I just wanted to point out my #1 recommendation to make money online.
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Now, back to decision fatigue:
I heard of decision fatigue before and thought little of it, but I was recently listening to one of Tim Ferriss’ podcasts and he talked about a study that was done to determine if decision fatigue was a real thing.
Some students were given an assignment to make some choices about items and were told that they would be given one of the items at the end.
They had to decide between a candle or a t-shirt.
Then, a black or red t-shirt.
This went on for a while with the students having to make several decisions based on their preferences.
Another group was told to give their opinions on the same items with no “decision” being made about what they were taking home.
Afterward, each student was asked to put his/her hand in ice cold water for as long as possible.
The group only giving opinions averaged 67 seconds in the water before pulling their hands out.
The group that were actually deciding what they wanted and making decisions averaged only 28 seconds in the water.
They had lost their willpower in making decisions.
There are examples of this everywhere.
Parole officers are statistically more likely to grant parole in the morning than in the evening.
Car dealerships try to sell you extra packages in the finance room because they know how worn down you are after car shopping.
Grocery stores have all the candy and sweet stuff in or near the checkout aisle because you just expended energy making decisions in the back of the store.
Most dieters find they run into trouble at night when the day of self-discipline has taken its toll on them.
We lose willpower throughout the day making decisions and it causes us to sometimes make poor decisions.
It is one of the sneakiest and most insidious processes that we may be completely unaware of.
So, how do we combat this?
There is some common sense things here, but also we can look to the ultra-successful as well.
Steve Jobs wore the same clothes everyday (not the exact same outfit from the day before, but an identical one).
He didn’t have to make a decision in the morning on what to wear.
Many successful people eat the same thing for breakfast every single day and/or have a morning routine that never changes.
If this sounds horrible to you, I would offer an alternative to at least planning your morning the day before.
Maybe plan breakfast, your clothing, and morning the night before.
This seals in your mind what’s going to happen and you don’t expend energy doing that first thing in the morning.
Also, make important decisions in the morning as well, while your energy and willpower is high.
This will enable you to make a better decision and you don’t feel worn down yet.
If something comes up at night, sleep on it and decide the next day.
If you absolutely have to make a night time decision (you probably really don’t have to do this if you think it through), then make sure you have at least eaten something.
You will think more clearly if you aren’t also hungry as well as tired.
Now, I’m going to talk about one more aspect of this.
What parts of your life can you automate or delegate that will increase your energy and willpower?
Are you holding onto the reins so tightly that every decision has to come through you when in reality there are people in your life or company that are perfectly capable of handling it?
Letting some of that go will empower others to help you and also increase your energy.
Anything you can do to remove those decisions from having to be made by you constantly will make you feel more energized and resilient.
Thank you for reading.