Decision Fatigue

Adam Callender
2 min readNov 6, 2021
Photo credit Raquel Martinez on Unsplash

Decision Fatigue

I can’t deal with that right now.

Can we book in a time to review that together?

I don’t have time right now, I am just too busy.

Do we have to make a decision right away?

We all navigate decision fatigue. Subway, a sandwich chain, drive some people to distraction with the sheer volume of choices to be made. Sizes, Breads, proteins, cheeses, upgrades, salad components, sauces, seasoning and add ons.

Trying to find the right time to make decisions. Some fast — get it done. Wanting to get started and figure it out as we go.

At times slow — perhaps deliberative, perhaps analytical. Let’s make sure that we have a good chance of success and not rush in.

Somewhere in between these different points on the axis. Exploring the dynamics of the planning. Attempting to be balanced — this is a priority, what are the options to get started in a reasonable time frame. Stakeholder perspectives are part of a reasoned solution.

Considering implementation. What is the critical path, the steps in order to get this done the right way?

Naturally, we might try to front load, to get ready as soon as possible, to feel confident in taking on the necessary decision making.

Others may delay, to see if events take over. To let things, take their course. To see what happens. To fail to make any impression on the decision to be made.

Many wait until a balanced situation arises, knowing that we have a restricted time creamed, waiting for it to feel right. Similarly, for the numbers to stack up. For an option to stand out as we continue to research.

What is Happening

You make hundreds of decisions a day — from what to eat for breakfast to how to respond to an email — and each depletes your mental and emotional resources. You’re more likely to overthink when you’re drained, so the more you can eliminate minor decisions, the more energy you’ll have for ones that really matter. Melody Wilding

The velocity of the decision comes down to how well we understand the situation. The willingness to back our judgement. To balance the measurable, the gut feel and the expected outcomes. Talking about our expectations and the possibilities along the way.

Marie Forleo spoke to this and recommends that we limit choice in order to enjoy more freedom.

Interesting to note research that shows the quality of decisions made over the course of a day declines, often erring towards the status quo.

For instance, asking teenage boys what they would like for dinner can be tricky. They assume we know what they like, and they just want plenty of it. Thus avoiding the need to make a decision.



Adam Callender

Sydney based, Adam coaches and mentors career professionals, leaders and business owners. He is fascinated by humans, motorsport, mountain bikes and technology.