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132. Decision Fatigue, a Behavioral Economics Foundations Episode

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This is the last episode of 2020! Like most everyone, I am very excited to be putting this year in the rear-view mirror.
So many people felt bogged down by all the extra stress and decisions of 2020. We had our habits upended and were forced to think about things we were used to letting our subconscious brains handle for us. Because of that, it was pretty easy to choose decision fatigue as the topic for this last episode of the year.
In this episode, you’ll learn what decision fatigue is, the most common study cited to show how it works, the most common tips you’ll find from others, AND of course my Brainy tips for mindset and business you won’t find anywhere else (plus, your free worksheet! Click the image to get yours.)
I hope you love everything recommended via The Brainy Business! Everything was independently reviewed and selected by me, Melina Palmer. So you know, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means if you decide to shop from the links on this page (via Amazon or others), The Brainy Business may collect a share of sales or other compensation.

Show Notes:

  • [00:06] Today’s behavioral economics foundations episode is about decision fatigue.
  • [02:32] We humans make an incredible number of decisions each day. Even choosing to listen to this podcast right now was likely a slew of micro-decisions.
  • [03:41] It is easy to think “going for a walk” is a single decision, but all those little decisions during the day add up and can cause our brains to get tired. 
  • [04:11] Some of those are big choices evaluated by your conscious brain, but many of them, well over 90%, are made by your subconscious.
  • [05:04] As you begin to get fatigued, you are more likely to rely on your subconscious rules of thumb to make decisions and get more risk-averse. 
  • [06:32] Most Common Tips From Other Articles on Decision Fatigue: limit the number of decisions you make, make your big decisions in the morning, and don’t make big decisions late; put them off for tomorrow when you can.
  • [07:01] If you don’t have to bog down your brain with mundane choices, you can free it up so it doesn’t get fatigued as quickly. 
  • [07:39] Wendy Wood mentioned when creating a running habit that you want to make the thing you are trying to have become a habit as easy as possible.
  • [08:45] Doing something today is the best way to make tomorrow easier.
  • [09:33] Over-stretched brains are rampant at the holidays and decision fatigue is a big culprit that can lead to extra stress and tension and possibly arguments with family.
  • [10:26] Decision fatigue is similar to overwhelm, but they are not the same thing. Your brain can get overwhelmed by more than just decisions, and not every decision in and of itself is necessarily overwhelming.
  • [12:11] So, when something has you in a tizzy and is using up more mental energy than needed just “Elsa it” – let it go and move on.
  • [13:20] Be thoughtful about the things you will be thoughtful about. There are lots of things that seem important at the moment that simply aren’t.
  • [15:16] I want you to think about all the stuff you are asking current and potential customers to do in order to do business with you. Are there lots of extra and unnecessary questions you are asking on an initial form or application?
  • [16:10] It is so important to put extra thought into your customer experience journeys. You want to reduce that friction and make it as easy as possible to do business with you.
  • [18:10] It may feel pushy or like you are being too forceful by narrowing time options, but in reality, you are making it easier for someone to make the choice which they will be happier about.
  • [19:58] Look for ways to reduce decisions and make it easier to work with you, and help others to do the same.
  • [20:23] Decision fatigue is another reason batching content and tasks is so important. When you set aside some time to plan out content in advance, you condense all those decisions into one.
  • [21:52] Handing off the right tasks can remove so much stress and unnecessary decision making from your plate, it’s so important.
  • [23:10] The last tip of the episode for overcoming and fighting decision fatigue: take breaks.
  • [25:25] Taking care of your brain is important, and using the tips from this episode to reduce decision fatigue will really help you be more productive, less stressed, and produce better work. 
  • [26:53] Make sure to check out the link to Nudge It North, a conference being put on by our great friends Tim and Kurt of Behavioral Grooves. Get 15% off your ticket with the code: brainy

Thanks for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Android. If you like what you heard, please leave a review on iTunes and share what you liked about the show. 

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