Mental exhaustion is bound to affect everyone, one way or another. Sometimes, we need to step back and take time to… notwork. As BNI Founder & Chief Visionary Officer Dr. Ivan Misner likes to say, it’s important that when reflecting on one’s career, you don’t say “Gee, I wish I spent more time at the office.”
“Notworking” is important to one’s mental health, especially when one considers the idea of “decision fatigue”, a common affliction among business owners.
In decision making and social psychology, decision fatigue refers to the exhaustion that sets in when someone is presented with the need to make one decision after another, back to back, over and over again. This can play out in several ways–for example, it can be as simple as going to a grocery store and being confronted with one bad choice for food after another. By the time you are checking out, your willpower becomes weak and you buy that candy on the way out of the check stand (that’s why they have it there!)
It can also be related to a very long day of making many decisions. If you’re making tough calls all day long, the quality of the decisions will drastically diminish by days end. Or it might play out over a very long period of time (weeks, months, or years) where you are confronted with one challenging decision after another. Over an extended period of time, you feel exhausted and drained from having to make so many decisions about so many different issues that it is easy to experience “burnout” as a result.
As a business professional, the nature of ongoing and important decisions can often create a massive amount of sustained stress. It’s vital to recognize when the signs of fatigue are setting in and to take action to course correct. One way to combat this is to schedule “mental health days” or to spend quality time with your loved ones. The goal is to reset your mindset for a more productive and stress-free environment
Decision fatigue is a real condition. What, if anything, do you do to combat this feeling in your life?