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  • Writer's pictureRuchi Sarna

Decision Fatigue: How to Avoid Mental Exhaustion and Make Better Choices

As we go through our daily lives, we are constantly bombarded with an overwhelming amount of choices and decisions to make. From what to wear, what to eat, and which tasks to prioritize, to more complex decisions like career choices or financial planning, the list goes on and on. It's no surprise that all these choices can take a toll on our mental energy and lead to decision fatigue.


Decision fatigue is the exhaustion of mental energy that occurs as a result of making too many decisions. The more decisions we make, the more our mental energy is depleted, leading to poor decision-making and increased stress levels. In today's fast-paced world, where we are faced with an overwhelming number of choices, decision fatigue has become a common phenomenon that can negatively impact our ability to make good decisions and increase stress and anxiety.


Fortunately, there are strategies we can adopt to reduce decision fatigue and make better decisions. In this article, we will explore some of these strategies and how they can help improve our well-being.


1. Simplifying your choices

Simplifying your choices means reducing the number of decisions you need to make. By simplifying your choices, you can conserve mental energy and reduce decision fatigue. One way to simplify your choices is to streamline your wardrobe. A cluttered wardrobe with too many options can add unnecessary stress to your daily routine. Instead, try to build a capsule wardrobe with a few versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched. This will not only simplify your wardrobe choices but also help you save time and money.

Another way to simplify your choices is through meal planning. Deciding what to eat for every meal can be exhausting, especially when you are hungry and don't have much time. Meal planning can simplify this process by allowing you to plan your meals in advance, making it easier to stick to healthy eating habits and avoid decision fatigue.


2. Establishing routines

Establishing routines means creating consistent patterns in your daily life. By establishing routines, you can reduce the number of decisions you need to make and make decisions more efficiently. For example, you can establish a morning routine that includes exercise, meditation, and a healthy breakfast. This routine will help you start your day with a clear mind and give you the energy you need to tackle your day's challenges.

Another routine you can establish is a bedtime routine. Having a consistent bedtime routine can help improve the quality of your sleep, which is essential for maintaining good health and reducing stress levels. A bedtime routine can include activities like reading, taking a warm bath, or listening to calming music.


3. Automating decisions

Automating decisions means eliminating the need to make certain decisions. By automating decisions, you can conserve mental energy and reduce decision fatigue. One way to automate decisions is to set up automatic bill payments. This will eliminate the need to remember when bills are due and reduce the stress of having to pay bills manually.

You can also automate your grocery shopping by using a delivery service or setting up a recurring order. This will eliminate the need to make a decision about what to buy every time you go to the grocery store, allowing you to conserve mental energy for other tasks.


4. Outsourcing decisions

Outsourcing decisions means delegating certain decisions to someone else. By outsourcing decisions, you can reduce the number of decisions you must make and delegate tasks to others. For example, you can outsource your cleaning, your laundry, and your meal preparation. This will allow you to focus on more important decisions and tasks that require your attention.


5. Prioritizing decisions

Prioritizing decisions is a crucial strategy for reducing decision fatigue. When faced with an overwhelming number of decisions, it can be challenging to determine which ones are the most important. By prioritizing decisions, you can focus your mental energy on the decisions that matter most and reduce stress levels.

To prioritize decisions, start by identifying your most important goals and tasks. What do you need to accomplish today, this week, this month, or this year? Once you have a clear understanding of your priorities, you can determine which decisions are critical to achieving those goals and which decisions can be delegated, automated, or simplified.


6. Taking Breaks

Taking breaks is essential for reducing decision fatigue. Just like a muscle, your brain needs rest to recharge and function optimally. Taking breaks lets you clear your mind, refresh your perspective, and improve your decision-making abilities.

Taking breaks doesn't have to be time-consuming or disruptive. Short breaks throughout the day can do wonders for your mental energy and productivity. You can take a quick walk, stretch, meditate, or simply step away from your work or decision-making process for a few minutes.

In addition to taking short breaks, it's essential to give yourself extended periods of rest to recharge fully. Consider scheduling regular days off, vacations, or even staycations to break away from your daily routine and reduce decision fatigue.


Managing decision fatigue is essential for maintaining good mental health, productivity, and overall well-being. With the strategies outlined in this article, you can simplify your choices, establish routines, automate decisions, outsourcing decisions, prioritize decisions, and take breaks to reduce decision fatigue.


While it may seem counterintuitive to reduce the number of decisions you make, doing so can free up mental energy and improve your ability to make good decisions when they matter most. Remember, it's not the number of decisions you make that defines your success, but the quality of the decisions you make.


If you find yourself struggling with decision fatigue, try incorporating some of these strategies into your daily routine. Remember, it's a process, and it takes time to establish new habits and routines. Be patient with yourself, and don't be afraid to experiment with different approaches to find what works best for you.

By using these strategies, you can reduce decision fatigue and make better decisions, which will ultimately improve your well-being and overall quality of life.

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