The 5 Steps to Healing Decision FatigueMar 31, 2022
36% of adults are struggling to make daily decisions due to stress from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to the American Psychological Association (APA).
This phenomenon is referred to as decision fatigue, which can be described as the deterioration of a person’s ability to make decisions from the stress of being faced with too many decisions.
While decision fatigue is not a new concept, I think we can all agree the ongoing pandemic has disrupted our worlds and created uncertainty that exacerbates this problem.
The APA also found 61% of adults agreed the COVID-19 pandemic has caused them to rethink the direction of their lives.
While decision making is more exhausting than ever before, we’re also contemplating big-life decisions, like our purpose and careers.
So, if you’re hitting a wall and feeling burned out from both big and small decisions—you are not alone.
I know in my own business, I’ve found myself exhausted by decision fatigue more than once.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I left Southwest Airlines to launch The Strengths Journal™ and Dana Williams Co. And since starting my own business, I’ve been faced with endless decisions that are new to me. I’ve found myself outside of my comfort zone.
The edge of our comfort zone is where we grow. BUT that growth must be sustainable to be meaningful. And when decision fatigue hits like a brick wall, it’s so hard to feel motivated, confident, courageous, or energized.
We lose sight of the big picture and drown in the noise of daily decisions that feel harder to make than ever before.
While we may not be able to avoid decision fatigue altogether, we can heal some of its impact.
The 5 Steps to Healing Decision Fatigue, so you can experience meaningful growth:
Step 1: Gain self-understanding & call for backup.
When decision fatigue hits, and you feel exhausted and unmotivated, your top CliftonStrengths® are likely in overdrive.
People often want to look at their lowest Strength to search for weakness, but the truth is—our top Strengths also bring our biggest blind spots. Because our top Strengths describe the ways we naturally think, feel, and behave, it makes sense that we would default into these ways of operating during times of stress.
Set aside a few minutes to look through your CliftonStrengths® report to read the blind spots of your top Strengths to understand which Strengths are getting in your way. Then, determine who you could partner with to bring balance.
I have high Ideation®, which means I can get lost in my imagination of ideas and “what ifs” when stressed. When I recognize this, I can ask a friend with high Discipline® to help me clear a path forward.
Know what you need to get the help you need.
Step 2: Limit daily decisions by establishing a consistent routine.
Research shows that one of the simplest, most effective ways to lower your daily count of decisions is by sticking to a consistent, daily routine.
I used to not have a consistent morning routine, and it wreaked havoc on my well-being.
Each morning, I’d start the day scrolling emails on my phone to see where it would take me first. The inconsistency led to making multiple in-the-moment decisions each morning that left me depleted by noon.
Once I committed to a morning routine of waking up earlier, journaling my ideas and plans in The Strengths Journal™, and some form of exercise— the mental fog cleared.
Instead of making decisions in the morning, I knew the plan and stuck to it. This gave me the clarity and energy I needed to make quick decisions later in the day.
Start each day the same to dominate your day and ease decision fatigue.
Decisions feel much harder when you don’t know where you’re going.
I’ve been here. I know what it’s like to work crazy hours but not make meaningful progress.
It took discovering my CliftonStrengths®, core values, and personal mission statement to start feeling confident in the decisions I was making, especially about my career.
When you know your personal mission statement, you can filter big-life decisions through it. It’s amazing how this process provides clarity; it eases the weight of decision making.
This is exactly why I designed a six-week bootcamp to help others through this process. Our members leave with a one-liner mission statement they can cling to when making decisions. It’s amazing to see how it’s transformed their lives for the better.
I’d love to journey alongside you in this process. You can sign-up here to join our next bootcamp. This is the best way to get clear on who you are and where you’re headed.
Know your “why” to guide your decisions.
Step 4: Stick to 3 top priorities each day.
We way overestimate how much we can meaningfully accomplish in a day.
If you’re like I was, you have a list of 10+ items you want to cross off today. And each hour, you add a few more to the list. By the end of the day, you feel defeated when you find yourself exhausted and procrastinating; there’s no way you can get this all done.
While it may seem counter-intuitive, limiting your daily goals will help you accomplish more.
Each day, The Strengths Journal™challenges you to write out your 3 top priorities for the day. Then, it guides you in applying your Strengths to get them done.
When you’re energized from accomplishing what you set out to do each day, decision fatigue fades into the background.
Step 5: Do the next right thing.
Once you’ve accomplished steps 1-4, you’re ready for our final step to healing decision fatigue—doing the next right thing.
This not-new concept rings truer than ever today with our wide-spread decision fatigue.
Once you’re clear on who you are, have the help you need, know your why, and have cleared your mind with a daily routine and limiting your to-do list—you can trust yourself to take a deep breath and do the next right thing.
While life is full of uncertainties and transitions right now, you are far more capable than you think. You’ve navigated endless decisions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic alone, and now you’re here reading this blog to focus on healing.
You’re taking care of YOU, you know YOU, and I believe you can take the next best step forward in confidence.
Whether that’s updating your resume, seeing a friend, or taking the dog for a walk—these intentional moments lead to an intentional life.
Decision fatigue impacts all of us differently, and sometimes, it’s unavoidable. But following our 5 Steps to Healing Decision Fatigue will fuel the motivation, confidence, courage, and energy you need to do the next right thing.
- Just for our readers who are healing decision fatigue, we’d love for you to take 10% off your copy of The Strengths Journal™ with code TSJSUBSCRIBE10.
- Do the next right thing by joining our six-week bootcamp, which will help you get clear on your Strengths, core values, and mission statement.
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