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Mind

Why we can only make a certain number of decisions per day

If your brain feels so ‘full’ that you feel mentally paralysed, you’re probably suffering from decision fatigue.

Do you ever get the feeling, after a busy day at work or running around after children, or both, that if you're asked to make another decision your brain might just explode? It's sometimes the reason why having to decide what's for dinner can be a step too far.
Well, it turns out it's a real phenomenon – it's called decision fatigue. According to experts at Florida State University, it's the reason so many normally logical, rational people end up making silly, snap decisions when things end up in the too hard basket.
We're lacking the mental energy for our brain to go through the convoluted process it has to negotiate each time it has to make a decision, so it starts taking shortcuts instead. Either we make a rash decision, because it's quicker, or we fail to make any decision at all.
A series of controlled tests took place with participants in a series of decision-testing situations: grocery buying at the supermarket, bargain hunting at shopping malls, and weighing up which car to buy at a car dealership.
The evidence was easy to see: we have a finite amount of brain space dedicated to making decisions – so use the brainspace early on, for the decisions that matter.
Tip: Introduce a few 'non-negotiables' into your weekly schedule. If your Saturday morning yoga class is a non-negotiable, or Sunday brunch with the kids, the decision is already made for you!

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