Did you know that we make approximately 35,000 decisions every day, and some people spend three hours each day deciding on what to wear, what to eat, what to watch on TV, and what time to go to bed?

No wonder we are all so exhausted by the end of the day! Having all these things to think about can be exhausting, and it can also lead to decision fatigue. Toward the end of the day, you have less mental energy to spend on making fast and good decisions.

However, decision fatigue is avoidable! You can definitely cut down the number of decisions you have to make and save your mental energy by establishing routines. When you have good routines set in place, you can streamline your day and make better choices.

Here are some of the benefits:

  • Establishing consistent good habits and behaviors.
  • Preventing feeling overwhelmed or stressed.
  • Staying organized and on track.
  • Giving a sense of control and calm in your life.
  • Eliminating unnecessary distractions.

Here are a few tips on how to establish routines and avoid decision fatigue:

Create a Process for Making Decisions

As there are a lot of decisions to make, you can create a process for the big ones. A decision matrix is useful in evaluating your choices and the factors to consider. You can use scores to weigh each factor based on importance.

When you make a decision matrix a part of your routine, you can avoid decision fatigue and make better choices.

Minimizing your choices also helps. The fewer choices, the less time you have to spend thinking and making decisions.

Reserve Big Decision-Making for the Morning

Mornings are the best time of the day to make big decisions. It is when your mind is more open, and you have more mental energy to make accurate and thoughtful decisions. It is normal for our ability to make smart decisions to decline as the day wears on, as we have already used up much of our mental energy.

We can hit a plateau in the afternoon, and at night, when we are feeling worn out. You may notice, or even say, I am too tired to think. You may still make fast decisions, but chances are they are not as well thought out. Part of your morning routine should include looking at some of the biggest decisions you have to make for the day. These are the things that require careful consideration and increased focus.

Simplify Your Life

Aim for a simplified life, and do not complicate things when they should not have to be. Reduce the need to make decisions for matters that are not serving you well or are overwhelming you. While it is nice to have hobbies and extra activities outside work, if they are overcrowding your calendar, you may have to let go of some of them or space them out evenly.

Do not make commitments you can not fulfill. This will help you make less decisions. You just have to say no. That is an easy decision to make and remember! Saying no can help restore your control over your life, allowing you to make better choices.

Put Less-Important Tasks On Autopilot

You can establish routines that simplify your choices and minimize the need to make decisions. Sleep and wake up on the same schedule every day.

Set specific days for exercise and rest, so you do not have to debate whether you will work out or sleep in. Create a meal plan for the week so that you do not have to think about what to eat every morning. You can even plan your wardrobe as many of the successful people have. Remember that less is more!

Take a look at what the late Steve Jobs always wore, and Barack Obama. They wore the same style and colors every single day. They never had to think, what will I wear? Make your preferences part of your routine, and you can minimize wasted time. You can also create consistency in your life which makes decision-making a whole lot simpler and easier.

Follow the Rule of 3 When Prioritizing

Setting your priorities is always important. Have you heard of the magic number three for setting priorities? Identify three top priorities for the day.

You should limit the priorities on your daily to-do list to three tasks and commit to accomplishing them by the end of the day. List your priorities the night before so you will start the next day with a plan.

Final Thoughts

Now you know how smart you are! You make thousands of decisions every day, although many are done subconsciously. When you have too much on your conscious mind, it can lead to decision fatigue.

If you are experiencing decision fatigue, you are also more likely to make poor decisions. Routines help establish a structure for your day, minimize your choices, and prevent decision fatigue so that you can make better choices.

It is important to think about what you can commit to and follow your routines consistently. Keep doing them until they become a natural part of your day.