Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

We are conditioned to believe that the more choices we have the better quality our lives. Never before in history have we been  faced with such an abundance of variety and resources.  You might think that is a good thing but when confronted with too many options we become susceptible to ‘decision fatigue’. Whether (seemingly) easy, to life changing, our mental decision-making energy is at risk of  overload. When overloaded we are likely to make hasty, unhealthy, unwise and even dangerous decisions with regrettable consequences.  Here are a few ways to avoid decision fatigue:

  1. Don’t overthink the trivial. Too much contemplation is unnecessary, time consuming and tiring. Inconsequential decisions should be effortless and quick.
  2. Know your priorities. When your priorities are firm and clear, the decision making process becomes easier.  If the options do not support your priorities, the choice is simple.
  3. Protect your vulnerability. Poor choices are often made when we’re overly tired, sympathetic, guilt-ridden or pressured.  Learn to say, “I’ll think about it.” And reconsider when emotions are not part of the equation.
  4. Eliminate excess. Too many options simply create more choices to ponder.  If there are thirty outfits in your closet, it will take you longer to figure out what to wear than if there were only ten.
  5. Delegate when possible. Choose to relinquish control over everything. You may be surprised when others rise to the occasion simply because you trusted them enough to share the load.
  6. When in doubt, trust your instincts. Decisions come in three colors: black, white and gray. Follow your gut feeling when facts, figures and futures are unclear.
  7. Learn from experience. Remember your own lessons but seek wisdom from others with even more experience than you.  You don’t have to make every mistake yourself. Learn from theirs as well.
  8. Pray. Find your quiet place. Seek Divine wisdom and learn to listen for that still small voice.
  9. Guard against popular opinion. What’s right for you, for your job, for your family, for your finances, for your future, may not match the majority. In fact, it may not even come close. That’s okay.
  10. Once decided, act quickly.  Making a decision, telling others you’ve made a decision or imagining the outcome of your decision does not complete the decision making process. Action is required.
  11. Forgive yourself. You will make some bad decisions. You will  avoid making important decisions. You will experience the pain of hindsight and regret. Learn from it. Live through it. Leave it where it belongs. Life goes on.
  12. Protect the white space on your calendar. Taking care of business at work or in the home can be all consuming and serious. Take time for lighthearted days where your hardest decision is choosing your favorite flavor of ice cream or which park to enjoy a picnic lunch.

 

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