Friday, August 26, 2011

Decision Fatigue -- They Put a Name On It

This article from the New York Times finally put a name to what has become of my life. Decision fatigue is the biological effect that occurs when you spend your time making decision after decision. At some point, you finally have had enough and you either start making reckless decisions or not making any decisions at all.

I do both, but I seem to lean more toward making no decisions at all. In essence, I hide. I've been noticing the same behavior in Steve, too. We have spend so many years making big decisions -- should he have the surgery, should we move to be closer to family, should I continue my writing or should I start looking for another job -- that we are burned out.

The problem is, we haven't just stopped making big decisions, we've stopped making any decision at all. I spend a lot of time staring at my list of writing projects without starting any of them. I just can't decide what to write or how to start

When we do make decisions, we find ourselves considering the most reckless options.  For example, my poor laptop is dying a slow agonizing death. I find myself spending a lot of time talking myself out of buying another one when we simply don't have the money for it right now. And, Steve supports this, he just wants to see me happy without placing any thought into it.

This is causing us to remain stagnant in our lives. We have become slugs with no purpose. Why, because we can't decide on a purpose and we don't want to think about it. We would rather stumble around StumbleUpon (me) or lay on the sofa and watch terrible movies (Steve).

I'm not sure how to get out of the rut we are in. But, I now know what is going on and can address it. Maybe by starting very small. Today I'm going to work down my list of articles. Just start at the top and work my way down. No decisions, just work through the list.

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