Eliminate Decision Fatigue — Add “Flow” to Your Day & Relieve Stress

Eliminate Decision Fatigue -- Add “Flow” to Your Day | Are you constantly making decisions? What to wear, what to eat, what task to do next… Here are some practical steps to eliminate decision fatigue, relieve stress, and feel more organized & productive. | www.fillingthejars.com

{A Companion Post to “Stop Thinking and Start Doing: A Goal Setting Starter Plan for the Overwhelmed Overthinker”}

 

How does your day go? Are you constantly making decisions? What to wear, what to eat, what task to do next… Maybe you’re good with planners & schedules, but at the same time you could relieve even more of your daily mental load by eliminating Decision Fatigue.

What is Decision Fatigue? It’s the exhaustion that comes from having to make endless decisions every day about everything. This is a HUGE problem if you are an overthinker, easily paralyzed by options and decisions.

Overthinkers MUST structure days simply in order to avoid Decision Fatigue. Basing routines and planning on limited choices makes your day flow better. Imagine being not QUITE so mentally exhausted when evening rolls around, and actually being able to enjoy conversations and family time.

Make some concrete decisions about what everyday things you can simplify to the point of automation, and then DO IT.

Make decisions about what everyday things you can #simplify, and then DO IT. Click To Tweet

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Here are some of the main sources of Decision Fatigue & how to eliminate them:

 

Daily Routine

As much as possible, do the same things, in the same order, every single day. It’s not boring, it’s productive. If you have children, it’s reassuring and comforting to them. Children love routine.

Get up at the same time every day (yes, even weekends!) and have a set morning routine. Plan your day. In the evening, do a mini brain-dump and prioritize the most important thing to do the next day. Then you can go to bed and not spend hours trying to arrange everything in your mind, only to forget about the ACTUAL important thing when you wake up in the morning.


Related Post: Creating the Perfect Evening Routine – Hustle & Groove



But how do you improve on a simple routine?

 

Clothing

Wear the same thing every day. In other words, develop a personal “uniform” or signature style.

Productive people have a signature style or one core outfit with multiples of each piece. Some people only buy certain colors or wear exactly the same outfit every day. I once read an article about Jamie Lee Curtis that helped me realized I don’t NEED a rainbow of clothing in my closet. Which is great, because trying to figure out which color looks good on me on any particular day is an exercise in frustration!

Do a deep declutter, get rid of everything that doesn’t fit, doesn’t easily coordinate with what you usually wear, or you just don’t like wearing. Determine your signature style – casual, professional, easy, polished, whatever works for you. Define it, and structure your wardrobe accordingly.

For example, are you a jeans & t-shirt person? Buy yourself 4 pairs of the SAME favorite jeans (same size and color!) and 6-8 of the same favorite t-shirt. Mix up the shirt colors if you want, but not so much that it means you now have to do 3 different loads of laundry just to wash your shirts. The same with socks and underwear… multiples, exactly the same! Who wants to spend time matching socks?
 

The Casual Wardrobe Basics Builder - Feel more confident and make life easier with a fashionable, functional wardrobe full of mix and match outfits!

 

If you’re a fashionista and still want to avoid decision fatigue, at least plan your daily wardrobe for the week on Sunday. Assemble your outfits, including shoes and accessories, and have everything ready to go for the week. There is even an app — Stylebook — that can help you plan if that’s your thing.

 

Food

Get into the habit of eating the same breakfast & lunch every day. Appreciate the simplicity.

Once a week, make big batches of simple things like oatmeal and soup. You will have breakfast & lunch for the week, and you won’t have to stand in front of the fridge every day, wondering what you can throw together for yourself because it’s time to eat and you’re STARVING. It’s already done!

Buy some freezer-safe containers (glass or plastic) to store your food in individual servings. Making freezer-friendly soups like chicken noodle or bean soup means you can make a HUGE pot of soup, portion it out, and have lunches for a couple of weeks!

For dinners, a simple meal plan is a lifesaver! This is why I love monthly meal planning and shopping. I get all of that done & out of the way at once. Then every week I use the same meal prep routine & we’re good to go! Remember, there’s nothing wrong with repeating a meal or even a week of meals a couple of times a month.

 

Shopping

 

Food

Develop a basic, personalized grocery list. Buy the same things from the same stores on every trip. For example, I have worked my monthly menu and shopping list down to the point where I can get about 90% of our food from Aldi. That means I only need to get the minimum from the black hole of decision-fatigue-inspiring superstore shopping.

 

Household Supplies

To really make your life easier, purchase most of your regular household supplies through Amazon. With their Subscribe and Save option, you can get regular delivery of the things you use all the time, at about the same price as the grocery store. Plus, once you’re set up for delivery, you won’t have to spend hours of your life in the store, trying to decide which brand/size/variety of whatever you need will work the best. (And heaven forbid the store is out of your usual item! Been there, done that — far too many times!)

One caveat: Don’t get sucked into the black hole of online comparison shopping at Amazon. Order what you need, in the size and type you need, and that’s it. Develop a blind eye when it comes to the “You may also like” and “People also ordered” messages that pop up on Amazon. Just don’t. even. go. there.

 

Clothing

Always purchase multiples of the items you like that fit your signature style. If you can quickly purchase what you need online, awesome! Otherwise, limit your shopping to stores where you KNOW you will find what you need.

 

Gift-giving

Unless you’re a master shopper, finding gifts can be overwhelming. Develop either a signature gift (same for every wedding, graduation, etc.) or be the person who always gives cash or gift cards. It’s okay… I promise, it really is.

 


Would you rather spend energy deciding what to eat for lunch every day, or actually get things… Click To Tweet

Of course, you can never eliminate ALL of the decisions you need to make, but removing Decision Fatigue when it comes to the smaller things frees your mind to concentrate on the more important decisions and tasks. Think about it: Would you rather spend your life energy deciding what to eat for lunch every day, or actually get things done so you can accomplish more life goals and have the mental energy to ENJOY those accomplishments?

 

Eliminate Decision Fatigue -- Add “Flow” to Your Day | Are you constantly making decisions? What to wear, what to eat, what task to do next… Here are some practical steps to eliminate decision fatigue, relieve stress, and feel more organized & productive. | www.fillingthejars.com

Eliminate Decision Fatigue -- Add “Flow” to Your Day | Are you constantly making decisions? What to wear, what to eat, what task to do next… Here are some practical steps to eliminate decision fatigue, relieve stress, and feel more organized & productive. | www.fillingthejars.com
Eliminate Decision Fatigue -- Add “Flow” to Your Day | Are you constantly making decisions? What to wear, what to eat, what task to do next… Here are some practical steps to eliminate decision fatigue, relieve stress, and feel more organized & productive. | www.fillingthejars.com

 

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10 thoughts on “Eliminate Decision Fatigue — Add “Flow” to Your Day & Relieve Stress

  1. This post sure proves to each his own. Don’t think I could do this day in day out. I love to mix it up and would find the same routine dull. More power to you. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Brenda says:

    This is so me – I get overwhelmed with so many decisions everyday, some days I am exhausted by evening! I feel comfort in routine so this works good for me. Thanks for the great advice!!

  3. Christine says:

    I love love love this post! I thought that I was the only one that suffered from this. Until reading your post I thought that it was fear but it isn’t. I over think things and this post just pretty much gave me permission to do what I had been feeling… simplify with routines, uniforms and meal favorites versus always trying to decide on something new. Thank you so very much Julie for this incredible post. I just found your blog and have already saved it as a favorite.

    • Hi Christine! Thank you for the kind comment! You’re definitely not the only one, and I’m so glad my post was able to reach you. 🙂 Please be sure to update me on how the simplifying goes for you.

  4. Shelley says:

    Hi Nancy
    I cannot thank you enough for your blog. It is fantastic and you have no idea how much your advice is helping me to try and put my life back together after an extremely rough 2 years. During this time my brain has been mush, I have struggled severely to get any type of order into my life. Your worksheets are amazing and I just want to say THANK YOU. I look forward to following your story in the future.

    Kindest Regards

    Shelley

    • Hi Shelley! I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been going through a rough time! {hugs} I’m glad that my worksheets have helped you, but remember that YOU are the one who is doing the hard work to get yourself back together! Please be sure to post your successes or questions. I’m here to celebrate with you and help if possible!

  5. Crap. I can’t believe someone stole my idea for a clothes app. Stylebook was supposed to be my money maker haha

    These are great ideas. I use my planner but I still find myself straying sometimes!

    • Hi Diana! Your Stylebook comment made me laugh! 🙂 I think that’s why I like undated planners… you can skip a little while and then just come back and pick up where you left off.

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