No wonder you’re tired. Soul-weary. Sucked dry.

dust-hair-portrait

Plaid or stripes? Flats or heels? Tall or grande? Latte or drip? Soy milk? Almond milk? Rice milk? Before you’ve taken your first sip of coffee, the decisions have started. By some estimates, the average American adult makes 35,000 decisions a day. No wonder you’re tired. Soul-weary. Sucked dry. The kind of tired 10 hours of sleep can’t fix.

You are suffering from decision fatigue. And there’s only one cure: Stop being the decider of everything. Sounds easy. But it’s not. We are—all of us—always one Google search away from dozens of potentially meaningless decisions.

Last month, I decided it was time to seal my deck. Once, I might have bought whatever deck stain the local hardware store carried. Now there is no local hardware store, so I found myself reading 45 reviews of deck stains, from semitransparent to solid. I compared the ultraviolet-blocking power in latex stains and weighed that against the volatile-organic-compound vapors of oil-based counterparts. I turned one decision into an entire decision tree of trade-offs and comparisons. When I was done, I may or may not have made a better choice, but this was certain: I was too tired to seal my deck. Good thing I didn’t have any stain around.

That’s decision fatigue. […]

Why are we doing this to ourselves? Because we overvalue two things that have become abundantly available: data and choices. When everything is measurable, everything seems knowable. […]

Having data feels like power. Having choices feels like freedom. Sometimes having both is having neither.

~ Jim Sollisch, excerpts from The Cure For Decision Fatigue


Image:”Red in white by Dmitriy Pokrovskiy” via Aberrant Beauty

Comments

  1. I feel like being Elsa in ‘Frozen’… Let It Gooooooo’🎤

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Decision fatigue…I’m glad someone gave it a name.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The image is powerful .How long it took you to pick this one for the post?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yeah too much thinking drives us all crazy! just call a handyman to do it for you 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  5. i use the ‘one potato, two potato’ method when in doubt and it always works.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. What a brilliant article! So true. Buying light bulbs and washing powder really get me.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ohmagosh, this is spot on! I was trying to pick out a new comforter set this past weekend and after an hour of surfing Wayfair and Overstock, I gave up and laid down on my old comforter for a nap…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I recall the first time I entered a supermarket here in the US. I froze in the cereal aisle … Completely overwhelmed with the choices!! I.m surprised I made it through the first week 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Daysinthefifties says:

    “Why are we doing this to ourselves? Because we overvalue two things that have become abundantly available: data and choices. When everything is measurable, everything seems knowable. […]
    Having data feels like power. Having choices feels like freedom. Sometimes having both is having neither.” Yup!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Did not let that get to me, yet!
    And, considering I’m in my 5th decade, I hope I can keep it this way for the rest of my life.
    It’s sickening watching others do it to themselves, that too is a choice!
    Main mission now is to make sure all 4 kids don’t get vacuumed into that tornado.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No way you are in your 5th decade. No way. You look early 30’s. (And love the framing of don’t let kids get vacuumed in a tornado – that is tough with the allure of the digital candy)

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s what I’m here for with the kids.
        When I see them there I put the foot down and say “Enough is enough, what is your heart leaning towards? ”
        Come on, life is too short to be dragged into this.
        Which brings us to your other post from this morning!!!!
        With my THICK religious upbringing I still can’t make up my mind, about God. If there is a God, God is in all of us and we have only ourselves to blame.
        The dark is working hard.
        Light, on the other hand isn’t working hard enough.
        To make it more difficult, light has to put in 10 folds the effort for every dark strike.
        Better get busy.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. This reminded me of the culture shock I experienced walking into a Safeway grocery store after moving to D.C. directly from Africa. Hundred offerings of toothpaste, rice, pasta sauce, you name it. I couldn’t make myself to choose. And I felt guilty.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. MrFireStation says:

    It can be overwhelming at times and they do say that ignorance is bliss.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I decided not to comment. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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