Decision Making Fatigue
Ever heard of decision making fatigue? It’s when you make poor decisions because you’re mentally tired from making too many decisions. And this doesn’t just count apply to big decisions, ANY decision will begin the process of fatigue.
As a parent, not only do you have to make decisions for yourself, but you end up making them occasionally for your spouse and always for your kids. If you have a family of 5, you just quadrupled if not quintupled your decisions!
This is one reason I hate grocery shopping. Even if I make a list, once I’m at the store I have to consider what’s on sale and what fresh produce is available for an affordable price. It feels like a zillion decisions that Iam too tired to make
Back to decision making fatigue. This is basically the more choices you make, the more tiresome it becomes on your brain. When your brain is tired, you either make poor decisions or you decide to ignore the fact that you have to make a decision and procrastinate the task at hand. Your willpower SERIOUSLY declines. This is a proven fact. Studies show that even judges will make a different decision regarding parole for prisoners at the beginning of the day versus at the end of the day. Good decision making is not an innate trait, but rather it’s an ever-fluctuating state.
Why is dinnertime the hardest meal of the day for families? It’s not only because its typically the meal with the most vegetables, it’s because you’ve made decisions all day and your brain is tired. You don’t want to force your children to eat their food. You may tell them that they only have to eat 4 bites (perhaps a poor decision) or you might make them a grilled cheese just so they will eat something (basically giving up altogether). The same goes for us adults — why do we have the hardest time resisting junk food at night? You guessed it, willpower is gone because of decision making fatigue. There are ample studies proving that the more decisions you have to make, the worse you are at making a good decision.
So how do you avoid this fatigue? Through something called the “choice minimalist lifestyle.” It’s simple—cut back on the insignificant decisions you need to make in order to save headspace for the truly important decisions. As a parent, you know that kids thrive on routine but you don’t realize how much it benefits you too. It seems trite, but when you don’t have to think about what to make for breakfast at what time etc., it gives you more mental energy for other things. Some people like to eat the same thing everyday while others find they benefit from a menu plan where you eat a certain meal on a certain day. So instead of relying on a finite resource of willpower all day, structure your life in a way that cuts back on decision making. You can’t avoid making decisions but you can control the time and energy you give to each decision. If you can lessen the total amount of mind space being used for each decision, then it doesn’t matter how many decisions you have to make in a day.
And as a general rule, try to plan your day in the morning when your mental reserves are the highest so that the rest of the day you can easily auto-pilot and save some head space for important decisions that might arise — like when your spouses proposes you have another baby:) Don’t allow yourself to make big decisions late in the day. There’s a scientific reason for the old adage of “sleeping on it” before you make a big decision.
At Datenight, we recognize that finding a babysitter can be a tedious task. Many times, you have to sift through a slew of babysitters and many parents report “giving up” on the task because there are too many options and therefore decisions to make. A night out feels tiring because of all the decisions to be made and it feels easier just to stay home.
Datenight interviews every babysitter that’s entered into our roster so that you can be confident that you are getting a great babysitter. Our system matches you with babysitters based on your preferences and location, cutting down on the decisions you have to make. And with our Premium and Elite memberships, you don’t even have to sort through any babysitters – we automatically set you up with three top babysitters to interview based on your preferences! Try us out today!