Fun fact: We make 773,618 decisions over the course of our lifetime.
Not so fun fact: We regret 143,262 of them.
Making decisions, even though an inevitable part of our day, is a process many of us dread. But it doesn’t have to be! There are shortcuts to ward off decision fatigue and preserve your energy for the most critical decisions each day.
Here are three ways to make decisions you may have never tried before OR you may have tried at work but never thought how it could be helpful at home. At The Habitized Life we're all about finding shortcuts that you can do repeatedly so you can preserve that precious brainpower for more critical decisions you'll need to manage during the day.
Commit to trying each of these decision tools at least once in the upcoming week to see which one is the most useful for you. You may find one way that works best for you all the time or you may find that each option is easier when used in different scenarios.
Each decision tool helps you visualize your thoughts by writing your process out on paper. You may not always need to do this, but if you are struggling to make decisions, seeing your thought process in front of you might be helpful. Sometimes just getting it out of your mind and simply seeing it in real-time reduces anxiety without depleting your willpower to make healthy choices for the remainder of the day.
1. Decision Trees
If you are looking for an analytical way to make a decision, then decision trees might be best for you. With a decision tree, you ask yourself very specific questions and if your answer is yes, then you ask one question and if the answer is no, then you stop the inquiry and your decision has been made. This is a very cut-and-dry approach and works best for major life decisions or decisions that may have a long-standing effect on your day-to-day life since it challenges you to keep playing out all the decisions until you reach a conclusion.
2. Mind Mapping
If you feel like you have a lot of information in your brain, then mind mapping is a way to get it all out on paper. Your question or decision would be the central idea and then you will draw a line out from that idea to a theme and that theme would branch out to different feelings. The goal of mind mapping is to really be able to look at how you feel about different facets of a decision. It gives you a chance to analyze your thoughts logically by looking at them on paper. This type of decision tool often works best when you don't need a definitive answer but want to visualize all the options and ideas to chose from. It can also be helpful when sharing your thoughts or brainstorming ideas with a spouse/partner and can be a great tool to teach kids as they gain skills in independent decision-making.
3. Eisenhower Matrix
If you feel like you have too much on your plate and not enough hours in the day, then the Eisenhower Matrix might just be for you. With this model, you split a paper into four quadrants.
1st quadrant is your “Do First” list: items that are most important, have to be done to meet a deadline, and are too difficult to delegate
2nd quadrant is your “Schedule" list: items that are important but don’t necessarily need to happen today, and you can assign them to another day
3rd quadrant is your “Delegate” list: tasks that need to be completed but that you can let go of by assigning to someone else
4th quadrant is your “Don’t Do” list: items that would put you ahead of schedule but you don’t have to stress about if they aren’t done today
One word of advice is you are using this model᠆ do not automatically put self-care in the “Don’t Do” list. Your mental health and well-being are important. Make yourself a priority.
At The Habitized Life these shortcuts are about you being savvy not being a procrastinator. You can only handle so much in a day mama and you are making WAY MORE decisions than the generations of parents before us.
Using habit trackers, planners, and decision tools keeps you in command of your day and your health. It shows you will not give away your power to your family, friends, schools, community, etc that is all trying to chip away at your time and your energy.
Nope. You do not need to be an exhausted martyr to show that YOU ARE AN AMAZING MOTHER! We'll keep reminding you of this.
How do you handle decision fatigue now? Comment below!