Thursday, September 3, 2015

Decision fatigue

Decision fatigue is a real thing.  There've been studies and everything.  But even if there hadn't been studies, I would still believe in its realness as decision fatigue is something I experience on a daily basis.  Let's just say it's a good thing I decide on my eye shadow color early in the morning because if I had to wait until the end of the day, I would likely be paralyzed by indecision.

By the time I get off work, all of my choice-making willpower for the day has been exhausted, which is why it works out so nicely that I have a regular routine of post-work activities that I don't have to think about too much.


Buffy is tired of making decisions
Last weekend was the 6th annual Breakaway Bardog 5K and Monroe Avenue Festival, i.e., the one Sunday of the year it's socially acceptable to ruin your work week before it starts.  But for the past few years, I haven't enjoyed this day as much as I should (though every year it's for a different reason). This year was accompanied by a feeling of vulnerability that I haven't experienced in quite a long time, and it was such that I had to make a decision. I needed to duck out of group running for a week to give myself a little breathing room.

This past Monday, as I looked to the week ahead, I wasn't thinking about decision fatigue and how my routine tends to save me from it.  I was only thinking about what wondrous things I might get up to with a week's worth of empty afternoons/evenings to exploit.

I would write, I thought...and read, and maybe even run more than I run when I'm with the group, because I could run whenever I wanted, and not have to wait until 6:00 or 7:00 or 6:20 or whenever the group ran.  I would have time, and I would be productive, and it would be GREAT.


I did not do any of those things.

I watched the second half of the seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which isn't even responsible Buffy-viewing since the seventh is arguably the least-watchable season, and I did this right after I loftily told someone last weekend that "I don't binge-watch television."  (It would seem I am a liar.)  I did not read.  I did not write.

I would not trade my life now for my life two years ago for anything, but there is always a trade-off - always! - and it would appear that mine is an increased reliance on routine to ensure I do the things that I want/need to do (did I even run this week?  Actually yes, I did.  Just not much or well).

It has also become clear what I have not allotted enough time in my routine for:  I need to write more, I need to write more, I need to write more...


  1. When I think of a comment to this post, I will post it.

  2. Hah! Whenever I have truly free time that I think I will fill with wonderfully productive things, I always end up frittering away my time on nothingness. I am a slave to my schedule and my routine - it's the only way I get things done - for work or pleasure : ) I totally agree with you on decision fatigue being a very real thing. Especially since I essentially make decisions for myself and three other people (what to eat, what to wear, what to do), I need a break every now and then. Never apologize for Buffy watching - it is time well spent!

    - Meg

    1. You know I realized when I saw your could have called me out on a lie here! :) But it's small and not worth pointing out. :) Funny how we have the best of intentions and yet it so often goes nowhere! But thank you for the affirmation about Buffy. You're right - it's pretty hard to say any time was wasted when Buffy's involved. :D (Maybe you should watch some, too!!!)