The average adult makes approximately 35,000 decisions in a day. That’s a whole lot of deciding. Many of these decisions are made automatically, beneath the level of our conscious awareness (I’ll pick this mug for my morning coffee, and wear these shoes to work). Others, though, require actual deliberation and conscious thought (should I stay in this relationship? Go live on Instagram today to promote my gig?)

Unmade decisions create a lot of mental spin and wasted energy. They also create what’s known as “decision fatigue.” We need a lot of energy and focus to make so many decisions, and when we don’t we exhaust our poor brains. This often creates feelings of overwhelm and confusion.

The first step to get out of decision fatigue is to simply recognize that there are decisions to be made. If you are feeling overwhelmed or confused, ask yourself if there are unmade decisions swimming around in your head. Also consider that you may have made a decision but aren’t sticking to it; this will also clog up your brain.

If you’ve got some decisions to make, here are some easy tips to get out of indecision (or an uncommitted decision):

  • Set a deadline by which to make the decision
  • Identify, in writing, all of the options
  • Cross off any that are a definite “no”
  • For the options that remain, make a list of reasons why you would choose that option
  • Circle the reasons you love
  • Pick the option with the most circles

This system works, whether you’re making business decisions or personal ones. It’s a surefire way to clean up mental clutter and make space for more fun and productivity in your brain.

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