The idea of decision fatigue sort of took prominence when Mark Zuckerberg told the world why he wears the same color of t-shirt every day. In an interview he said,
I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community.
Powerful as Zuckerberg’s answer maybe, we might be tempted to think that unlike him, we don’t have a Facebook to run. His words may seem far-fetched to us until we think of the myriad decisions we have to make every day. Do we drink lemon, mint, ginger, masala, or just normal tea in the morning? Should we buy Fenty, Mac, Maybelline, or Joanna K cosmetics?
And while those may seem vain decisions to make…well, should we learn the piano, guitar, French, or photography to increase our status signal? Or should we learn Excel, Stata, R, or how to code or edit videos to better our skills, or better yet, should we volunteer or take an internship in the next school break? The choices in today’s world are endless, and while that may seem like a good thing, they cause decision fatigue.
Decision fatigue increases the likelihood of procrastination, making poor choices, and decreasing our willpower which often leads to exhaustion. It happens even when we don’t realize it. Every time we scroll through social media alone, we are confronted with decisions to make; should I like all her posts, should I take a screenshot or bookmark this, is this information factual, should I retweet this?
So maybe the next time you feel overwhelmed, pause, and reflect on the number of decisions you are making. Try and simplify your life whether that means more planning in advance, making a shopping list, adopting a capsule wardrobe, meal prepping, having a strict schedule for sending and replying to emails, or even just taking a break from social media.
Have a great week ahead!