A trick to reduce decision fatigue

I first heard about decision fatigue from someone telling me our former president Barack Obama always wears the same suits. Then I thought about it…and yes…I do always see him in the same colored suits.

On this Fast Company article he states:

“You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits,” [Obama] said. “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.”

I actually understood what he was saying in regards to the eating. When I was in a 12-step program our meal plan was pretty simple and while it had replaceable parts, it stayed pretty much the same. I would eat 2 salads and a set breakfast at certain times. Even with the food prep and grocery shopping, the decision to have the same meals over and over tremendously cut down the amount of time I thought about food and had to make decisions about it.

Since I was eating at regular intervals I wouldn’t have to think about food until I got hungry…then when I felt hungry the food was already prepared, so all I had to do was eat it.

I can remember the days of skipping breakfast. I would be thinking about food constantly until lunch because I was hungry! All the decisions to make in my mind.

On the flip side, at different jobs I saw people spending 20 minutes organizing what they were going to have for lunch or dwelling over what they should get in the vending machine. They’d go over it and over it again and coordinate with friends on who’s paying what and who’s going to pick it up and when it will be delivered and who’s going to tip.

I saw the same thing growing up when my family wanted to cook a meal. Every day the question came in…what are we going to eat? and all the drama that ensued. It became exhausting after a while. When I joined the 12-step program and had a set meal plan and actually got to see this behavior from the outside looking in when I would come home to visit or while I was at work. I could then conclude it was downright crazy to think about food that much.

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