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What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

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Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

244. Decision Fatigue (Refreshed Episode)

Decisions are everywhere — we are making them all day long. Even if you know you are making a lot of decisions, you probably don’t grasp the full weight of them. Think about yesterday, how many decisions can you remember making? How many decisions do you make on an average day?

Research shows that people make 35,000 decisions every single day! 

Can you believe it? Clearly, the bulk of those are done subconsciously as we couldn’t exist if we had to do all of those on a conscious level. So, how do we make better decisions? What happens when we make too many decisions? Is there a point in the day when we have hit our decision number and it’s all downhill from there? Or is there an opportunity to recharge those batteries and have a second wind? 

When do we reach the point of decision fatigue and what can we do to avoid it? That’s what this episode is all about. This refreshed episode originally came out on Christmas day, 2020 (at the end of a year full of decision fatigue). It includes tips for making better decisions around the holidays and is useful all year round. Ready to optimize your decisions? Listen in…

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IN A RUSH?

HERE'S A 2 MINUTE TIP.

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SHOW NOTES:

  • [00:39] Today’s episode is all about decision fatigue.
  • [03:21] We humans make an incredible number of decisions each day. 
  • [04:48] We all make about 35,000 decisions every single day. Some of those are big choices evaluated by our conscious brain but over 90% are made by your subconscious. 
  • [05:51] As you begin to get fatigued, you rely on your subconscious rules of thumb to make decisions. You’ll be more cautious and make decisions that are risk-averse without even noticing the change in your behavior. 
  • [07:48] If you don’t bog down your brain with mundane choices you can free it up so it doesn’t get fatigued as quickly. 
  • [09:34] Doing something today is the best way to make tomorrow easier. 
  • [11:14] Decision fatigue is similar to overwhelm but they are not the same thing. Your brain can get overwhelmed by more than just decisions. 
  • [14:08] 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. 
  • [14:33] Dopamine is a chemical that your brain likes. It forms lots of habits around getting more of it and Dopamine goes hand and hand with anticipation. 
  • [15:16] Just because it feels bad or painful doesn’t mean it is wrong or that it isn’t in your best interest to continue down the path. It might just be your subconscious rebelling about not getting the Dopamine it is used to. Take that painful moment as a good sign and celebrate it and keep moving forward.  
  • [16:58] 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.  
  • [19:04] You are making it easier for someone to make a choice.  
  • [20:47] Look for ways to reduce decisions and make it easier to work with you.  
  • [21:12] 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. It is a super simple brain hack.
  • [22:17] Another closely related item to batching is delegating. Don’t hold onto every little decision and choice on a project. Fight the urge to have everything done perfectly in the way you would do them and free up your brain from making decisions that someone else could do.  
  • [24:04] Take breaks. Take a lunch break, weekend off, breaks throughout the day, and even naps. 
  • [25:59] It isn’t selfish or self-indulgent in a bad way. It’s actually beneficial to your overall decision-making to take this time for yourself. It helps keep your brain clear, your decisions stronger, and your work better and more meaningful. Taking care of your brain is important.  
  • [27:41] Melina’s closing thoughts
  • [27:53] When you can streamline the things you do and reduce the unnecessary decisions in your life by making them habits, it can really help you to do more and better things.
  • [29:45] The more you streamline and plan while you are in a cold state (before the moment of distraction hits) the easier it will be in the long run.
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