Am I going to have a cup of hot tea tonight? What kind of tea? Are the cookies done baking yet? Should I go a couple more minutes or will the bottoms of them get burned? What if I take them out too soon?
I just made five decisions in less than a minute.
When I read published research that said adults make approximately 35,000 decisions a day, I thought that number was astronomical. Really, 35,000 decisions every single day?
But think about it. Every time we're on Facebook, as we scroll through each post, we decide whether or not we are going to like it. Then we have the extra task of deciding whether it's a like, love, sad, etc. Every single one is a decision.
And then I thought about the five decisions I made in less than a minute. That's when I realized, the struggle is real.
We really do make one decision after another. Most of them we don't give very much thought to, but they are decisions nonetheless. Then we hit what is called "decision fatigue." It's when we reach a point where we have made so many decisions that we're done, finished, cashed out. We can't possibly make another one.
How many times have you reached the end of the day, and your spouse asks you what's for dinner, and you look back wearily as you have absolutely no idea. Or, because you've made decisions all day long, you mindlessly reach for whatever food is nearby. You don't even care what it is. It's right there within your reach. It presents itself and you just stuff it in your mouth. Or, your kids ask to borrow $20.00 or want you to extend their curfew. You just hand over the money and give them the extension, because it's easier than having to actually think through the pros and cons of the requests.
You fall completely worn out into bed and don't even bother to wave the white flag.
Can you actually do anything about all these daily decisions?
Of course, the answer is a resounding, "YES!" I also believe it's relatively simple as long you're willing to front load the workload. In other words, it's going to take work up front to get some habits established, but once you do you will find how much easier your day will go.
Set up your day by making some decisions the night before. Yes, even though you're still making decisions, by doing it the night before you don't have to do it in the morning. With a fresh and clear mind in the morning, you can make better decisions earlier in the day and not quite so many.
The night before I generally do these things:
1, All technology is done by 8:30 (unless I get a phone call or text from a loved one).
2. I pick out what I'm going to wear the next day.
3. I get my bag packed for the gym.
4. I know what I'm going to have for breakfast and what I will be making for lunch.
5. I read for 30 minutes or so to wind down.
6. Lights out by 9:30 so that I can get 7 1/2 hours of sleep.
There are evenings when I don't have these decisions made, and I can definitely tell a difference. I feel more rushed in the morning and my mind feels a scattered. Like I said, though, building a routine such as this one takes time, but it has been worth it. When I have a setback, I remind myself how important the night before is to set myself up for success.
We all have enough decisions we are making in a day. So, if we can make things a little easier on ourselves, why wouldn't we do that? The struggle is real, but it doesn't have to consume us.
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.