For the fourth article in our Find Your Flow series, we share tips on how to reduce decision fatigue as you go through your day.
As knowledge workers, we take for granted how much having to constantly make decisions wears on us throughout our day. What should I wear to work today? How should I phrase this email to get my point across? Which color button will get the most clicks? What should I work on next?
On their own, these are seemingly small decisions. But, making decision after decision wears you out, causing you to lose focus. It drives you to avoid having to make further decisions.
Reducing decision fatigue is why Vera Wang, Mark Zuckerberg, and Barack Obama wear the same thing every day. It’s one less thing they have to think about each morning in a day full of decisions.
We, of course, cannot remove decision-making altogether, but we can remove many extraneous decisions to be made each day - beyond simply wearing the same clothes.
We’ve talked in previous articles about having a morning planning routine and ordering your day to maximize flow. These are the building blocks for reducing decision fatigue. By planning everything in the morning, you reduce decision-making throughout the remainder of your day. You only have to look at your task backlog once to decide between the many things you need to do. Without the daily planning ritual, you constantly have to go back to your long list of to-dos to prioritize and re-prioritize everything on your list. By ordering it once, you eliminate any further decisions about what to do next.
Another critical step to reducing decision fatigue is keeping your daily list of ordered priorities front and center. That way, when you complete one task, you can quickly move on to the next.
You should be able to access your list as quickly as possible. Immediately knowing what to do next is a major component of staying in flow. The opportunity to get distracted by searching for your next task is significantly reduced when you have it right under your nose.
First, make sure to get the Chrome extension. Besides making it easy to add new tasks, the extension also shows you all your priorities for the day with one click.
In addition, Taskable has a desktop app that you can set to launch when you start your computer in the morning. With the desktop app you don’t have to open a webpage and search for your next task. Instead, Taskable is always easily accessible from your dock.
Finally, we recommend always having Taskable open. Better yet, if you use multiple monitors, dedicate a screen to Taskable making your next priority just that: a priority.