One of those old self-development tropes is this idea of decision fatigue.
It’s like we only have a certain limited ability to actually take in all the information, consider all the relevant factors, and weigh it against our values, and somehow come up with a decision about what to do.
We choose one path and not another.
And that takes work.
I mean, that’s not automatic in any way.
Every time there’s a fork in the road and we have to think about which way to go, that consumes time and energy, mental effort, to be able to make that choice.
And some days, it just seems like that energy is low.
It’s like “I don’t feel like thinking about these things.
I don’t feel like making these decisions.
A nd that can certainly be a factor that leads to wanting to escape into something that’s very easy.
You know, playing a game, you know, where it’s like easy decisions.
I don’t want to make any difficult decisions.
I just want to make fun and simple decisions, where the choices are clear and the feedback is immediate and obvious.
Or maybe I don’t want to make any decisions at all.
Maybe I just want to watch a movie and have everything decided for me.
Just watch the output of somebody else’s decisions, who made all the choices to put something together for me.
So this ability to make decisions is something that in a way we have to ration it.
We have to limit it and guide it and streamline it and choose how and when we’re going to make decisions.
Maybe we have to be ready that sometimes we are just not going to be great at making decisions.
Sometimes it’s going to be that kind of mental fog, where you know, I just can’t do a clear evaluation, an eagle-eyed view of the situation and weighing all these factors and then producing an outcome.
Maybe I have to anyway, but I really don’t feel like it and maybe won’t do the best job.
Whereas some other times, I feel like I’m in some kind of ideal planning mode, and you know, it’s like the general looking at the map, the king in the throne room, the judge in the court, just sort of like surveying everything, you know, looking out over the landscape and evaluating all the factors, considering the strategy, and evaluating everything, making a plan.
That’s something that it seems to just be best at certain times and not others.
Now I’m not quite sure what brings out that good state, that good decision-making state.
Maybe it’s partly mental clarity, freedom from distractions, either distractions from outside, or could be emotional distractions from inside.
Just that kind of state of freedom from interference so that I can just sort of clearly look out onto all the field of possibility.
And I would like to hear if you have any idea about what brings out this clarity of decision-making better.
I would like to find a way to, you know, develop this further.
Yet, just from this idea it seems like it’s something that I want to consider.
Will I be able to make good decisions right now and some days the answer is I’m not in my ideal decision-making ability.
So then what do we do? Then it seems like the best thing to do is to plan ahead, to have something ready.
At least, maybe if it’s not like a full plan, to at least have a list of maybe some things that could be useful to do.
So it’s like I don’t know what to do next.
That next fork in the road is coming.
Every time I don’t have immediately something to do, I have a free moment, now I can at least have a list of things that would be useful to do, and then I can work on doing them.
At the same time, got to be careful not to get too far into the plan, because we still have to live in the moment and respond to the moment.
But I find it helpful to have this kind of reserve list of things that I’m ready to do, so that when my mind is not clear i’m not able to make good decisions and plan at my best, I can at least engage in something useful to do to improve my situation until the next time when I’m ready to have a strategic lookout and figure out the next steps.
#decisions #decisionfatigue #lifeplanning