“Decision Fatigue”: Even if small decisions make everyday life more difficult
It already starts in the morning: you open your closet and ask yourself which outfit you should wear today. How about the cute blouse? Or do you prefer the smarter shirt? But what pants go with it? And now we are in the middle of the vicious circle Decisions, from which some come out more easily, others with difficulty. Even when it comes to trivial, non-life-critical decisions, it can be quite overwhelming at times overwhelm – especially when it comes to really relevant options like accepting a job opportunity or renting a new apartment. The torment the Choice, as the saying goes, is sometimes really an odyssey and is therefore also referred to as “decision fatigue”. What exactly is behind it and why exactly Women are affected more often, we tell you here.
“Decision Fatigue”: When deciding what to eat becomes a major effort
Every day we have to decide: Do I take the train to work or do I ride my bike? Do I get a coffee to go or do I save it? Do I eat in the canteen today or do I find my lunch somewhere else? Am I going to do sports tonight or do I do something with friends? And these questions are only a tiny part of what we are actually confronted with on a daily basis. Of course, there are also the big decisions that we take more than a few minutes or seconds to make that carry a bit more weight. But why are we sometimes so afraid of making choices and standing behind them?
The answer to that is very simple: we are afraid of the consequences. What if we made the wrong choice and the other option was better? What if the pumpkin soup tastes better than the pasta and then we can’t decide on the other dish? Many will probably laugh about it and say: “That’s not so wild.” Others, however, feel so drained and strained by this very thought process that they would prefer to avoid any situation in which they are faced with a choice.
“Decision Fatigue”: A problem that many women are unfortunately trained to have
So why should women be the ones struggling with “decision fatigue”? The answer is obvious: education. Unfortunately, we still live in a world that is gradually making progress and is trying to finally stop gender stereotypes, but still shows them and sometimes even passes them on to children. This still educates young girls to this day to put other people’s desires ahead of their own and become people pleasers – something that can also affect their ability to make decisions.
If I put the well-being of others before my own, then I don’t make decisions for myself, but for others. This problem is particularly evident when it comes to household and mental load. It is simply assumed that women are taking on more responsibilities at home, leaving them with even more conflicting choices. Am I doing something nice for myself tonight or do I take care of the laundry I still have to do? Women still have more to-dos on their list and therefore have to choose between their own wishes and their supposed tasks more often. When that choice ends up being some me-time, guilt is often involved. So it’s a bit like the plague or cholera – so it’s no wonder that it’s often the women who suffer from “decision fatigue” and therefore prefer to avoid them.
“Decision Fatigue”: This can make it easier for you to make decisions for yourself again
Why do we often find it so difficult to commit to one option when faced with a choice? Because we have learned not to rely solely on our intuition. It actually tells us straight away what our heart beats for more and what we feel like doing more. Our first instinct is what we should listen to when making decisions. That’s why it’s important to reactivate your gut feeling and listen to it in moments of choice. If you’re having trouble feeling it, you may generally need a little break from everyday life to ground yourself and reconnect with yourself. You can do this with hobbies that you have neglected for a long time or, for example, through journaling. You regularly write down what’s going on inside you, let out everything that’s bothering you at the moment, and this gives you a clear head again.
Routines also help to slow down “decision fatigue” because you have to make fewer decisions in everyday life. If you have a fixed routine for how you plan your day, you are less likely to have to choose what you want to eat today or how you want to dress. Planning is key, which is why you should think about the coming week in advance. In general, however, it is helpful to work on your self-confidence in order to work on your fear of supposedly wrong decisions. Try to understand that each of your options has a specific purpose in your life, and even if it doesn’t turn out to be optimal in hindsight, this step is part of your development. You learn from mistakes, even if it’s just a bad lunch choice. So dare to make the choice for yourself.