We all make decisions constantly; most of them are simple others will require more thought and time, but the truth is we are always deciding everything from the moment we wake up until we go back to bed. Each decision consumes energy; discover what decision fatigue is and how minimalism can help you overcome it.
What is decision fatigue?
According to Wikipedia, decision fatigue in decision making and psychology is the quality deterioration of decisions made by any individual after a long session of decision making.
Any person can experience decision fatigue, especially those who hold plenty of responsibilities, whether at work or home. Decision fatigue leads to poor choices, and physically, it makes you feel mentally tired and sleepy, as the brain will ask for time to rest and recharge.
What is the relationship between decision fatigue and consumerism?
As I mentioned before, decision fatigue leads to poor choices, which includes consumers making bad purchases.
Retail companies are well aware of this; for this reason, when people choose to buy a clothing piece, they might get confused about different sales or promotions.
The vast array of designs and colors, after a while, leads to fatigue decisions, which makes us more prone to impulse buy things we didn't plan or need to get.
The same concept applies to supermarkets; the layout of the average supermarket can be pretty confusing to disorient you.
Purposely, many supermarkets place fresh produce and meats (which are the most sought after products) the furthest away from the entrance and all the non-essentials (such as home decor, beauty, toys, or office supplies) the closest to make you walk more and maybe grab something you didn't need.
By the time you are at the cash register, decision fatigue could potentially be at its max, and they know this leads to poor choices; this is the reason why the cash register area is filled with candies and drinks to "reward yourself."
How decision fatigue appears
Our day starts completely blank, but as soon as we open our eyes, the decision kicks in from waking up and deciding to make the bed or not, brush your teeth and wash your face.
As the day continues, decisions start to pile up fast, like what outfit will I wear? What will you eat for lunch? What work should I do first? Do I read my e-mails first or check my social media handles? Etc.
During the day, we can take up to 35,000 decisions, that is, somewhere close to 2,000 decisions per hour, more decisions if you have more responsibilities. By the time the night comes, we are so mentally drained that we can potentially buy stuff online or order take-out food because we can't choose what to cook.
Why don't minimalists experience decision fatigue as frequently as others?
Given how a minimalist lifestyle revolves about reducing possessions and simplifying your life, the amount of possible decisions is heavily reduced.
Here are some simple tips to reduce decision fatigue
1) Mornings are your best friend
If you have important things to do, take advantage of the morning and get them done as early as possible; this habit of successful people is great to get things done daily, leave unimportant stuff for later.
2) Create a capsule wardrobe
Albert Einstein was known for wearing the same outfit every day; this was to reduce stress and decision fatigue. You don't have to buy seven exact pairs of pants and shirts, but creating a capsule wardrobe with colors and designs you like is a fantastic tip.
By owning pieces that match each other, you can rest assured that everything you pick will look good on you.
3) Meal prep
By meal prepping and having food ready at home, you won't feel the need to order take-out food or eat at a restaurant; besides; you will save some cash as cooking at home is a much cheaper option than paying a premium to eat at a restaurant.
4) Avoid buying late at night
Our decisions are more flawed at night; avoiding these temptations will stop us from impulse buying when we are vulnerable. This includes avoiding shopping malls, supermarkets, or online retailers.
5) Always shop with a list
Whether you are buying groceries or clothes, always keep a list of what you need to buy; it can be on paper or your smartphone; use it as a map to guide you through the store and stick to your list.
6) Write it down
By taking thoughts out of your mind into a piece of paper, you reduce mental fatigue, write down all your tasks, ideas, or plans for the upcoming days.
7) Always go to sleep at the same hour
Getting a good night's rest is vital to be more productive the next day; make a habit of sleeping at around the same hour, the earlier you can sleep, the earlier you will wake up, and have a great morning to get things done!
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