Decision Fatigue in 2020


This last couple of weeks I finally took some time off of work to try and reset. I’m not always the greatest at taking time off. I take an extra day or two combined with the weekend for a mini-vacation around the Holidays to see family and it’s often the minimum time needed. This year with everything going on really had to force my self to step back and try to reset with a staycation.

It’s all too easy now days to get overwhelmed and stressed out. A couple of key contributors now days:

  • Decision Fatigue
  • World Circumstances

Decision Fatigue

There are many articles written about this topic that do a much better job than I could to describe this. A couple that a quick DuckDuckGo uncovered:

But in short.. if you are constantly having to make decision after decision. There is a point when it just gets mentally taxing to have to keep making decisions.

I personally loop into this what I guess you would call Context Switching Fatigue. It boils down to some of the same things. But basically if you are constantly having to switch between tasks it can also lead to fatigue.

World Circumstances

It’s super easy to look at everything happening in the world and worry about things you can’t control.

  • Covid19 - We watch as the number of reported cases climb.. people can’t agree on how it’s reported and it’s politicized. With so much conflicting reporting… We are faced with more of decision fatigue. What info is correct?
  • Protesting and Riots - same thing.. mixed reporting. While the initial reason for protesting feels like a no brainer… everyone is taking extreme views on how to solve it. We see a lot of reports on who is doing what… and here we are stuck with making sense of everything.
  • Social Media chaos and unrest - a longer topic.. but everyone seems to be looking for a cause. They just pick a side in a fight with little to no research and shame anyone with an opposing view. You don’t have to scroll far in your feed to see someone post something political.. then in the comments you see anyone that opposes the view point or even question it.. dog piled on. Peaceful debating is long gone.
  • Deaths - as if it’s not a hard enough year.. people still get older and still die from varying causes
  • Hurricanes - In my part of the world it’s in the middle of hurricane season.

Resetting and Handling

Reducing decision fatigue doesn’t have a silver bullet. But one way I’m handling it on my staycation is taking it easy and making as little decisions as possible. Spent the first week blasting through my honey-do-list and generally cleaning. Then just taking it easy, avoiding news and social media(except Hurricane Laura updates).

But long term my approach:

  • Cut down / Cut out Social Media - it’s filled with a lot of toxicity.
  • Avoid too much News - I admit I don’t do this as well as I’d like. If you spend too much time reading news, you will be forced to spend more time reading both sides and making a decision.
  • Simple and structured morning routine - for me this includes Bullet Journaling.
  • Organization - being organized helps decision fatigue a lot.
  • Value your own time. Just because someone DM’s you asking for something doesn’t mean you need to stop what you are doing now and respond. In fact busy mode / do not disturb is your best friend here. Not even seeing it prevents you from having to make a decision.

Don’t be afraid to take time off to reset! It’s hard to take time off. But it’s important to take care of your self!

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