Monday, August 22, 2011

Decision Fatigue

Here's the link to the NYT Magazine article, "To Choose is to Lose", August 21st. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/magazine/do-you-suffer-from-decision-fatigue.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=To%20Choose%20is%20to%20Lose&st=cse  Here's my take-away for me and you. Readers may already know about the research results. I didn't and found it useful so I'm passing it on as a good way to start the week.

"Decision Fatigue is the newest discovery involving a phenomenon called ego depletion. . . " according to author John Tierney. The underlying concept is based on a long ignored and not totally accurate conception that all mental activities require the transfer of energy, which at some point gets used up. The term "brain dead" applies to that point perhaps? "Once you're mentally depleted, you become reluctant to make trade-offs, which involve a particularly advanced and taxing form of decision making."

The most relevant research finding for a Monday is this:
You may not even know you have low mental energy in the same way that you notice low physical energy, but we can end up by day's end being an impulsive decision maker, to short cut energy output.  Or we can just avoid making a decision for the same reason. Neither outcome is good.  So, based on the research, the author recommends:

• Make all the tough decisions earliest in the day, or delay if possible til the next morning, after a good breakfast.

• Immediately after lunch for a short time is OK too.

• By the end of the day your mental energy to make decisions, to hang on to your will power is often low. Not good to schedule important meetings, hiring interviews, decisions about job changes, housing, kids schooling and all after dinner with a glass of wine.

The authors say this is not a personality trait, but instead a universally applicable phenomenon. H-m-m-m. I 'm going to test it out this week. I'm writing this post late in the afternoon. Uh-oh.
Decision FatigueSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

1 comment:

  1. Hi Judith,

    That was an interesting post....The Art of Choosing was a great book that talked about how choice is the fulcrum of our existence....so many choices...and so many things to do. Fatigue here we come!

    Thanks for sharing....


Tell me what you think!