Decision Fatigue

John Tierney in his piece for the New York Times:

The more choices you make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes for your brain, and eventually it looks for shortcuts, usually in either of two very different ways.

The first shortcut is to act on impulse. The other? Do nothing. Timely after I wrote about how indecision results in mediocrity.

Humans have a limited capacity to make decisions. The more we face the likelier the easy choice is made, not necessarily the right one. When paralyzed by indecision, any choice is better than postponing but focus—tightening scope—avoids decision fatigue and results in more appropriate choices.

Roy F. Baumeister’s studies show that people with the best self-control are the ones who structure their lives so as to conserve willpower. […] Instead of counting on willpower to remain robust all day, they conserve it so that it’s available for emergencies and important decisions.

Design your processes to reduce decisions you have to make. Build a team that you can trust to make choices. Conserve your willpower to decide and execute when you’re needed most.

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