Fight Decision Fatigue and be More Effective

checklistDoes this scenario sound familiar? At the end of a day full of making decisions and answering questions, someone asks what you want for dinner and you realize I have no idea what I would like to eat for dinner.

The term for this is decision fatigue and it refers to the idea that decision making is like a muscle that can get tired with over-use. Every choice makes you a little less able to make the next choice, until you are unable to decide about supper.

Blogger James Clear has some suggestions about tactics you can implement to fight decision fatigue. Here’s one that attracted our attention:

Plan daily decisions the night before. There will always be decisions that pop up each day that you can’t plan for. That’s fine. It’s just part of life. But for most of us, the decisions that drain us are the ones that we make over and over and over again.  For example, decisions like…What am I going to wear to work? What should I eat for breakfast? Should I go to the dry cleaner before or after work? And so on.

All of those examples can be decided in 3 minutes or less the night before, which means you won’t be wasting your willpower on those choices the next day. Taking time to plan out, simplify, and design the repeated daily decisions will give you more mental space to make the important choices each day.

What about you—how do you keep yourself sharp in the face of countless decisions? Leave your suggestions in the comments.


  • I think what works for me is plan my day the night before and so I am ready for the next day.

  • I’m a believer in getting things prepared for the next day and a good nights rest.

  • I agree, thinking about things the night before can definitely improve your productivity.
    I also write pointed lists to keep track of all the things I have to do.
    I usually use daily lists and monthly lists, so to maximize my effectiveness.

  • I too agree, doing things the night before makes my next day a little easier and it does improve my productivity during the day and the month.

  • Couldn’t be more true. I’m not a morning person, so I always make a list of what to do the next day before I go to bed. It helps me reaching maximum productivity level faster in the morning.

  • I’ve not come across the term “decision fatigue” before but I understand what you mean by it.

    I go along with the idea of thinking about “tomorrow” things the night before. Just after I have climbed into bed is my best time for doing this.

    I’m not sure it makes me any sharper but it does help me remember things I need to do before setting out for the day.

  • Couldn’t agree more with the other comments. I usually like to keep it simple by just getting on with the things and trying to complete my days’ to-do list. I am a morning person so am usually up couple of hours before the rest of the world. Gives me ample time to take things easy, think about the priorities and then just write them down. It has always worked for me.

  • Every day I’m starting from one of the yesterday planned cases without any social sites and other. This helps to tune in a working mood for the whole day!

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