Home Productivity Hacks How to beat decision fatigue and make better choices

How to beat decision fatigue and make better choices

How to beat decision fatigue and make better choices


How to Beat Decision Fatigue and Make Better Choices

Have you ever found yourself feeling drained and exhausted after making a series of decisions? This could be a sign of decision fatigue, which can lead to poor choices and decreased productivity. In this article, we will explore the concept of decision fatigue, how it affects our ability to make good decisions, and strategies for overcoming it to make better choices.

What is Decision Fatigue?

Decision fatigue refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after a long session of decision making. It is a phenomenon that occurs when the mental energy required for making decisions becomes depleted, leading to a decline in decision-making ability.

Throughout the day, we are constantly faced with a myriad of choices, from what to wear in the morning to what to eat for lunch, to more significant decisions at work or in our personal lives. Each decision requires mental effort, and as the day goes on, our ability to make good choices diminishes.

How Decision Fatigue Affects Decision Making

When we experience decision fatigue, we become more inclined to make impulsive and irrational choices. Our ability to weigh the pros and cons of a decision diminishes, and we may resort to defaulting to the easiest or most convenient option, rather than the best one.

For example, after a long day of work, you may find yourself ordering takeout for dinner instead of cooking a healthy meal, simply because the thought of deciding what to cook feels overwhelming. In a professional setting, decision fatigue can lead to rushed and poorly thought out decisions that can have negative consequences for the business.

Strategies for Beating Decision Fatigue

Fortunately, there are strategies that we can employ to beat decision fatigue and make better choices. Here are some effective techniques:

1. Prioritize Important Decisions

Not all decisions are created equal. By prioritizing the most important decisions and addressing them earlier in the day when our mental energy is at its peak, we can ensure that we give them the thought and consideration they deserve.

2. Limit the Number of Choices

Reducing the number of decisions we have to make can also help to alleviate decision fatigue. From simplifying our wardrobe to implementing routines for daily tasks, streamlining our choices can free up mental energy for more significant decisions.

3. Take Breaks and Practice Self-Care

Regular breaks throughout the day can help to replenish mental energy and prevent decision fatigue. Additionally, practicing self-care activities such as exercise, meditation, and spending time in nature can help to refresh the mind and improve decision-making ability.

Real-Life Examples

Let’s take a look at a real-life example of how decision fatigue can impact decision making:

John, a busy executive, has a packed schedule and is constantly making decisions throughout the day. By late afternoon, he is exhausted and facing decision fatigue. When presented with the choice of whether to approve a new project proposal, he hastily gives it the green light without thoroughly reviewing it. This hasty decision leads to costly oversights and delays in the project.

After recognizing the impact of decision fatigue on his choices, John implements strategies to combat it, such as delegating less important decisions and taking regular breaks to recharge. As a result, his decision-making ability improves, and he avoids similar costly mistakes in the future.


Decision fatigue is a common phenomenon that can have a significant impact on our ability to make good choices. By understanding how it affects our decision-making ability and implementing strategies to combat it, we can make better choices and improve our overall productivity and well-being.


What are the symptoms of decision fatigue?

Some common symptoms of decision fatigue include feeling mentally drained, indecisiveness, impulsive decision-making, and difficulty focusing.

How can I prioritize important decisions?

One way to prioritize important decisions is to assess their impact and urgency, and address them earlier in the day when your mental energy is at its peak.

What are some self-care activities that can help combat decision fatigue?

Engaging in activities such as exercise, meditation, spending time in nature, and practicing mindfulness can help to replenish mental energy and improve decision-making ability.



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