What !#@! Don’t make decisions? Now, how can that possibly be sound success advice? Let me tell you how too much decision making can afflict you with decision making madness disorder (I just made that up), but, it’s true! Too much decision making can deplete your brain power and cause you to suffer from decision fatigue. When your brain is in decision making overload it adversely affects your judgement, creativity and stamina. Not good for achieving your goals.
The question then begs to be answered — how then does one make all the many decisions that an entrepreneur must make without becoming victim of brain drain, losing focus and distancing one’s self from achieving their goals?
Here are the Top Five Strategies to Avoid Decision Fatigue:
1. Keep It Simple:
Get in the habit of not overly stressing about things that aren’t directly related to accomplishing your goal. Many people overly stress about their clothes, the right business card style, every single word in a speech, etc. Essentially, becoming obsessed with perfection and minutiae. Over-perfectionism will delay your time lines to success. Keeping it simple also applies to minimalism. To become super successful, less stressed, and avoid decision fatigue, strive for minimalism in all areas of your life. Less is more!
2. Use Discernment:
Each and every day we are confronted with many decisions that need to be made. The successful person knows how to prioritize decision making. Avoid becoming involved in any unnecessary or frivolous decision making. Be honest with yourself when you find yourself becoming mired in unimportant decision making (which color legal paper you are going to buy). It may be a sign you are avoiding an important, yet uncomfortable, decision that needs to be made or you are avoiding going for your goal all together.
3. Empower Not Disempower:
High achievers are naturally adept at problem solving and everyone around you is keenly aware of your ability to problem solve, take action and make decisions. And, they want your help to do the same for them. As achievers and entrepreneurs, we always want to go the extra mile for our families, friends, clients and coworkers. But, over-doing or doing what they are fully capable of doing for themselves, is not being of service. Rather than empowering them to achieve the results they want (and the self-esteem that goes along with it), it disempowers them. And, it also causes you brain drain.
4. Learn to Say No:
The best mentor I’ve ever had in my life taught me a very valuable lesson. She told me “Linda, no is a complete sentence. Practice it.” To avoid decision making fatigue, learn to say no — period. End of sentence. You do not have to give a defensive speech as why you’re saying no. Super successful people are very discerning with their time and energy. And, it’s not just from a time-management standpoint. It’s also from a Brain management standpoint.
They know they need to conserve their mental, physical, emotional and spiritual energy for what can positively contribute to outcomes in their own lives, others and the world.
5. Stay Focused on Your Master Goal:
For every single decision you need to make ask yourself these two very important questions 1) Is this decision going to take me closer to accomplishing my goal or further away from it? 2) Is this decision going to support my values or violate them?
If the answer to either is the latter, then you know it is not a sound decision and avoiding making an unsound decision will keep you on track to attain your goal and from going down a dark hole of having to make a whole bunch of future damage control decisions.
The super successful and super rich know that decision making fatigue is real. They create habits to avoid it to keep them on the path of productivity, innovation and success. President Obama for example says “You’ll see I wear only grey or blue suits. I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.” And, Mark Zuckerberg is a well-known advocate of avoiding early morning frivolous decision making which he says leads him to making better decisions on things that really matter throughout the day.
In closing my shocking confession: I was an intern as a Marriage, Family, Child Counselor because my dream was to help people. I was so shocked when I learned I couldn’t help every person that came through my door. I learned that some people weren’t really ready to be helped and that I had to know when I was helping or actually hurting their chances of success. I quickly got myself into CODA (Codependency Anonymous) and learned how not to be an enabler. In order to help, I had to focus on taking on those who were willing to help themselves. I learned that saying “no” is sometimes the most compassionate thing to do in honor of being of service, both to others and to myself.