What is “Decision Fatigue” and how to avoid it.


Are you someone who struggles with being productive all day? Do you find yourself procrastinating later in the day?

You may be suffering from what is called Decision Fatigue.

Making decisions is tiring you out girl!

There is research that examined 1,112 judicial rulings over a 10-month period. All rulings were made by parole board judge who had the power to decide if a parolee was going to be released or not or have the terms of their sentence changed.

The most amazing thing was found by researches, the parolees were more likely to be given a favorable outcome if they saw the judge at the beginning of the day. The parolees had a 65% chance of a favourable outcome, but as the day went on that number dropped steadily, until the judge took a lunch break. Straight after lunch the likelihood of getting a good outcome rose again.

What does this tell you?

It tells you that the judge was experiencing decision fatigue. When you start to tire your brain gets sick of making decisions. You might have heard me say before that a confused mind says no, well it seems that a tired mind also says no. When you are worn out your ability to make quick decisions is low. So you might find that heading towards lunch you start to procrastinate about how to respond to that customer who wants a refund, what colour to use in your new logo, what image to purchase for your latest facebook ads or how to write copy for your next newsletter.

There are some clever ways you can work around decision fatigue;

The first and the most obvious is to make sure you use that first hour or two in your day to get stuck into the hard stuff. The stuff that requires you to make quick decisions. Don’t waste that time doing the easy stuff like checking out facebook, or reading emails that don’t require you to do anything. Always do the most important thing first!

Next, take breaks! It is scientifically proven that you are more productive after taking a break. Don’t fall into this false economy of working 8 hours straight because you need to get stuff done. You will get more done if you take a break.

Finally, have a plan. Know what the most important task of your day is and what needs to be done before you step foot into your office or store or warehouse. If you have a to do list prioritise the hard stuff so you know it’s going to get done before decision fatigue kicks in.

If you follow me on Facebook you will notice that I am most likely to post and respond in the early afternoon and the evening. The two times where I know I am tiring out and I won’t have to make any big decisions.

Hope that helps you become more productive.