I’m experiencing decision fatigue! Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, I’m just stating how I am feeling (as my kids would say, ‘not hating, just stating’). The reason I’m not complaining is because I am approximately half-way through the longest, and most amazing, holiday of my life! I am incredibly fortunate to be spending three months with my wife – and best friend – living and travelling throughout the UK.
AND I’m (we’re) experiencing decision fatigue! There are simply so many decisions to make when you are travelling that it can, at times, feel exhausting and overwhelming. We are currently in Wales, in the Brecon Beacons, and due to our love of hiking, we are keen to do several half-day and full-day hikes. Opening up our AllTrails app, adjusting the filters to nearby walks between 5 – 20km in length, it returned an unmanageable 433 trails! How do you decide? How do you cope with that amount of choice?
Decision fatigue is the concept that after making many decisions, a person’s ability to make additional decisions becomes worse. For me personally, it is also accompanied with feelings of being overwhelmed and becoming a little quieter, and a little grumpier (Jeanette may query the choice of the word ‘little’!).
We all must make a large number of decisions each day – starting with what time to wake-up, what clothes to wear, what to have for breakfast, what time to leave for work, which way to go to work, what to do first at work, – and on the list goes. Each decision requires us to expend energy, and complex decisions generally deplete our energy levels even faster. With the information we have at our fingertips today, and with the plethora of choices we are constantly confronted with, it is no wonder that we can all feel degrees of decision fatigue.
Decision-fatigue researchers suggest several ways to combat this phenomenon. These include: making important decisions earlier in the day, limiting unnecessary decision making, removing distractions such as our mobile phones, simplifying our wardrobes, planning our meals, taking rest breaks, ensuring you have enough food (energy) on board. All these ideas I find helpful.
At my manifesto, we’d like to suggest one more strategy, which we refer to as ‘Harness your personal manifesto’. Many individuals have shared with us the clarity that comes from creating their manifesto, and this newfound clarity assists decision-making in three main ways – it can provide a platform for making complex decisions easier, it can minimise distracting decisions, and it can remind us, what living authentically actually means to us.
So, whilst I navigate the ‘challenges’ of extended holidays, and as we research ‘What to do in the Cotswolds’ I will keep phrases from my personal manifesto at the front of my mind. As I scan the ‘best’ lists from TripAdvisor, TimeOut, LonelyPlanet, VisitEngland, Cotswolds.com, CN Traveller, PocketWanderings and Cotswolds Journeys – I will remember that ‘I welcome adventure into my life’, and that being ‘present, hands-on, supportive, and loving’ is what matters – whether we see Broadway Tower, or Upper and Lower Slaughter, or the Cotswolds Distillery isn’t as important as embracing this quality and special time with my wife.
Hopefully then, by the end of the day, I will have enough energy and enthusiasm to contribute to the decision of ‘what should we have for dinner?’