How many decisions do you make on a daily basis?
Whether you realize it or not, from the moment you wake up to the moment you fall asleep you are being inundated with decisions both big and small.
From deciding what to wear and what to eat, to how to approach someone at work, your brain is constantly making decisions.
While these decisions may not seem taxing, research has found that your brain can really only handle making a certain amount of decisions before you lose your ability to make good choices.
This may explain why supermarkets have candy at the registers. After traipsing the isles of your local supermarket making decisions about what to put into your cart and what to avoid, decision fatigue sets in, and you are more likely to give in to temptation.
It also explains why the creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, who is one of the richest people in the world, chooses to wear the same outfit day in and day outour. Relieving the stress of figuring out what to wear each morning leaves him the brainpower to make other more important decisions for the rest of the day.
For the average person, decision fatigue begins to set in around lunch time. It is at this time that you lose a good chunk of your willpower, your ability to focus and your ability to make good decisions.
While a good diet or even a healthy lunch can help to reduce the severity of decision fatigue, it really only provides a small amount of relief.
In any given day, your brain can really only handle so much decision making before you begin losing your willpower and your ability to think clearly.
This is amplified further when going through a rough period in your life and when your body is already under a lot of stress. During these times in your life, making the “right” decision can feel a lot more challenging and stressful.
When faced with decision fatigue you are also more likely to eat more and spend more. You also become more vulnerable and are more likely to find yourself agreeing to things that you don’t really want to do.
Biologically, it seems that our brains can only handle so much decision making, but in all of this, where does that leave the decision making skills of the heart?
Could it be that we are overworking and unnecessarily stressing our brain instead of relying on other decision making mechanisms that we have been granted?
Making decisions from the heart takes very little mental strain. In fact, when you make a decision from a place of intuition, it often feels effortless and like the natural thing to do.
Our bodies are extremely intelligent, and it seems that the fact decision fatigue even exists could be a clear indicator that we are not really tapping into all of our given powers.
Using your intuition to make choices in your life can definitely help to fight off decision fatigue and can help you to conserve the decision-making power of your brain.
Here is how to use your intuition plus some other methods you can try:
4 Ways to Avoid Decision Fatigue
1. Use Your Intuition
As already mentioned, your heart holds valuable decision making powers and can be used in conjunction with your brain.
We all have an intuition, all we need to do is begin using it so it becomes stronger. One simple technique is to close your eyes, place your hand over your heart and visualize energy shifting from your brain into your heart center. Once you feel the shift of energy, present the decision to your heart.
Often your heart replies as a strong whisper or as a feeling of knowing. It may not make sense to the brain, so it is important to not try to rationalize the answer. Just trust it and see where it leads you.
Of course, when your are feeling low or tired, accessing your intuition can also be challenging, which is why the other steps below are also important to observe.
2. Get Organized
The more organized you are for your day ahead, the less likely you are going to run into decision fatigue.
Instead of trying to organize what you are going to wear or what you are going to eat at the last minute, consider having a routine all planned out where your don’t have to make any decisions.
While being this organized takes some planning, even reducing a few key decisions from your day can have an impact.
Just like Mark Zuckerberg wears the same outfit every day, when you get organized and remove unnecessary decisions, it leaves you with more time and energy.
3. Sleep On It
If you have to make big decisions in the later half of the day, consider sleeping on it before signing the dotted line. To make this effective, try to not think about your decision or any of the details until first thing in the morning.
Often when you wake up in the morning your mind is clear and fresh and you are more likely to make the “right” decision moving forward. In the morning your mind is also sharper and has the strength to look through the finer details.
If you don’t have time to sleep on it, consider doing a quick 20 minute meditation instead. By clearing your mind and recharging your soul, you can gain decision making power not only from your brain but also from your heart.
4. Trust Yourself
One of the most beneficial ways to avoid decision fatigue is to trust yourself. Instead of going back and forth over things again and again, be confident and bold when it comes to making your decisions.
The minute you second guess or doubt yourself, decision fatigue can set in a lot quicker. While its ok to change your mind, try to stick to your decision once you have made it and see it through.
Often the decision that we first make is the one that we end up going back to anyway, so commit to your first choice and trust yourself.
This article was oirginally published at Forever Conscious and used here with permission.