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Asking Questions


How to reduce decision fatigue

10.17.2023 • 2 Comments

We love having choices…until we don’t. Just me? I love getting to pick out which journal color I get to go with this year, but I don’t love that I have to decide what’s for dinner every single night. I love picking out a new fall candle or which book to read but deciding how much to tip the barista who hasn’t even handed me a drink? …. Please no. Don’t make me choose! It’s so much decision fatigue.

With so many paths to take in our day, it’s easy to stall out on the actually important ones. That’s why Kendra Adachi, the author of The Lazy Genius, suggests having some things you decide just once. Make a decision one time and go with that decision over and over again. Save your decision-making energy for the big things.

If you get decision fatigue just thinking of all the choices we have, start small. Adachi suggests naming the thing that is currently stressing you out and making one fixed decision that could make it easier. An example? If you’re scrambling for a gift for a kid’s party in 4 hours, decide on one gift you give to all the parties you attend.

After reading Emily’s post sharing things she has decided once, I thought it was time I finally made my list and figured it may be helpful to share it with you. It’s a mix of things we’ve already decided once and some I am implementing now:

1. When we visit a new city, we check out a chocolatier for our own truffle taste test and visit a local bookstore.

Ok, this might sound weird. It’s more a tradition but how stressful is it to figure out what all to do in a new town? We love chocolate and books so we know we won’t be disappointed if we include these two things in our itinerary. 

2. We unpack after vacation immediately.

When the girls were little, we’d even drop them off at one of their grandma’s houses on the way into town while we unpacked. They got special time with a loved one they hadn’t seen in a week or even a month and we unpacked lightning fast. The girls help now and this past trip we had laundry in the wash within 30 minutes of getting home!

3. Every teacher gets a Rhythms prayer journal and Springboard Prayers for Christmas gifts.

This season is always super hectic with our last days of shipping before the holidays so it’s nice to have this ready to go!

4. I order Rifle Paper Co. wrapping paper during their Black Friday sale.

As a paper snob, I of course am picky about wrapping paper too. I have tried to grab something from Target but never find one I like, then stall, then don’t have it when it’s time to wrap, then I find one I like but need a second style that compliments it…BTW I realize this is way too much thought into wrapping paper. So I get paper I love to look at all season long for 20% off! 🙂

5. We don’t say yes to parties or showers on Sunday.

We have church, family lunch at my parents, nap, and then our church small group followed by getting ready for the week. It’s a full day, but honestly super laidback and worshipful. That afternoon rest/nap time is what ensures this introvert survives. 😉

6. Roundup for the charity.

When I’m at a store and someone asks if I’d like to donate to a charity, for a while, I would pause and try to take in what charity they were talking about. It’s always chaotic and makes me feel flustered. I take seriously the charge to be a good steward as I donate to charities and used to say no just to avoid having to decide. Now, I round up or give a dollar, whichever they ask me to do, and don’t overthink it. It’s such a small ask and it’s God’s money, not mine. 

7. The first 30 minutes of my work day are spent walking.

I have a standup desk and walking pad so I’ll make sure it’s set up the day before so when I walk in my office, I click a button and start moving. I can walk longer if I like but at least the first 30 minutes are walking.

8. The last-minute dinner is always tacos.

We normally have everything we need to pull off tacos but I don’t plan it in the weekly menu and instead have it as the backup plan for the night we feel most slammed by dinner time because there is always at least one a week.

9. We don’t buy school pics.

I know. I sound like a monster of a mom, but it’s like $50 per child for a photo that is not any cuter than the thousand of photos I have on my phone of them. One day, I asked myself how deprived they’d be without them and remembered that one time in my 20s I went back and looked at all mine. It was a fun 15 minutes and I never thought about it again. 

10. Every June trip gets an Artifact Uprising album for Christmas.

What can I say, I love my Black Friday deals! 😉 (Side note: If you want to know ours ahead of time, sign up here.) I love having an album capturing our summer adventures but I don’t need this ASAP so I order during their holiday sale and we open it on Christmas morning.

11. The TV doesn’t go on until the afternoon.

If the girls ask to watch something on a Sunday morning, I don’t have to think about it. We save the TV for late in the day. 

Ok, I am dying to hear some examples from your own life! Share in the comments below. 

And I hope it’s obvious – these are the small decisions we need to make. Yes, they lead to decision fatigue and that’s no small thing, but I bet there’s some big looming decision that keeps you up at night or keeps you on your knees. If that’s you right now, check out this post about prayerfully making decisions. I think you’ll be encouraged as you look for clarity in the bigger choices, and I hope this post helps free your mind up just a little so you actually have space to think about those big decisions that really matter. 

If deciding what to pray is a struggle we got you

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Comments (4)

These 11 points were excellent, I’m a grandmother we made the move to be of support as intentional grandparents; I can pray over these 11 points and ask the Lord to show my daughter in laws these sweet suggestions which always have a biblical point of view. Thank you, I’m always refreshed with your writing.