How Moms Can Make Easier Decisions

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Each Decision Decreases Your Mental Energy And Willpower

Have you ever wondered why you’re so tired at the end of the day and maybe more prone to impulse eating? One of the contributing factors relates to how many decisions you made that day.

It doesn’t matter how simple some of your decisions might be. Every decision you make subtracts from the amount of mental energy and willpower you have.

This is a problem for moms because we have to make tons of choices every day for ourselves and our children! In an era of infinite choices, this can be incredibly exhausting and overwhelming.

For example, when you were creating your wedding and/or baby registry, I bet that you started the process giving careful consideration to each item you chose. By the end, I bet you were exhausted and just picking items to get it over with.

There are three negative side effects of having to make lots of choices every day: decision fatigue, analysis paralysis, and less satisfaction.

Decision Fatigue

Decision fatigue, a term created by psychologist Roy F. Baumeister, is when your willpower and the quality of your decisions decreases with each choice you make.

In other words, you will start the day thinking carefully through the consequences of each decision. Each choice will start to get harder for your brain and, eventually, you will start to make more impulsive decisions or maybe even choose to do nothing. Your depleted willpower can also make you more prone to things such as impulse eating.

In fact, that is why candy and snacks are placed by the register at the grocery store. You’ve already made lots of decisions picking out your groceries, so you have less willpower and mental energy. Therefore, you’re more prone to impulse purchases.

Decision fatigue is also why successful people such as Mark Zuckerberg, the late Steve Jobs, and Barack Obama wear the same outfits every day. It helps to limit the number of decisions they have to make.

Analysis Paralysis

Analysis paralysis is when you overthink a situation to the point in which you become “paralyzed” and no decision is made.

You can experience analysis paralysis when you have so many options that it becomes hard to make a choice.

About 20 years ago, psychologists wanted to study how people react to having too much choice. They went to an upscale food market and set up a table with 24 varieties of gourmet jams for people to sample and purchase. On another day, they set up a table with 6 varieties of gourmet jams.

The table with 24 varieties of jam attracted more people, but they were one-tenth as likely to make a purchase as the people who visited the table with less varieties of jam.

Sometimes, when faced with too many options, you may just walk away and not choose at all. Or if you do choose, you are more likely to feel dissatisfied with your choice, even if it was a good one.

Less Satisfaction

When you think about the great features of the options that you did not choose, it subtracts from your level of satisfaction over the choice you made.

The more options you have, the more likely it is that you will feel disappointment over the choice that you made. There is rarely, if ever, a perfect option out there. Therefore, you will probably wonder about the great features of the options that you did not choose. Even if your choice was a good one.

How To Make Better Decisions

The negative effects of choice revolve around the number of decisions you make each day, and the number of options that you look at. Therefore, limiting your decisions and options will go a long way in helping you to make better decisions overall.

1. Make Important Decisions Early

Each choice you make in the day starts to get harder for your brain and you will eventually start to make more impulsive decisions. Therefore you should make important decisions earlier in the day when you are more likely to carefully consider the consequences of your choice.

2. Plan Outfits Ahead Of Time

Plan outfits for the week for you and your children. You could even do what Zuckerburg, the late Steve Jobs, and Obama do… wear the same outfits every day!

3. Plan Meals For The Week

Choose what meals you are going to make for the entire week, and schedule what day you are going to make what. Then create a shopping list, and only purchase what is on your list.

4. Create Deadlines

Create deadlines for decisions so you don’t overthink things and fall into the trap of analysis paralysis.

5. Set Up Routines

Set up routines for things that you want to do to ensure you do them every day. That way you are kind of on autopilot, and don’t have to expend mental energy every day trying to decide whether or not you will do them.

For example, if you want to work out every day, don’t make it a decision. Make it part of your schedule. Every day you wake up at approximately 6 AM, and you work out at 6:30 AM.

6. Limit Or Do Not Keep Junk Food At Home

Since your willpower is greatly depleted by the end of the day, you may want to severely restrict the amount of junk food you have in the house. You can also not keep any junk food at home.

You will be less likely to eat impulsively because you won’t have a lot of junk at home, and you probably won’t want to go out to buy it.

7. Limit Your Choices And Don’t Second-Guess Yourself

When you are making purchases, limit the number of options that you look at. Once you’ve made a decision, do not think about the other options you looked at anymore. This will help you make faster decisions, avoid analysis paralysis, and to be more satisfied with your choice.

Most of the decisions we make regarding purchases aren’t earth-shattering. For example, it’s probably not worth it to spend tons of time and mental energy on day to day items, such as high chairs.

Best-Selling Baby Products

I hate making decisions when it comes to baby products. It feels like there are an infinite number of options out there for each item you need. Who wants to do the math of comparing and reviewing thousands of baby products?

At some point, it’s just not worth your time anymore. Later in life, no one is going to say they wish they had spent more of their valuable time researching baby products.

Since I already did a crap ton of research on some of the best-selling baby products, I decided to create posts to make the decision process easier for you.

RELATED: Swaddles & Sleep Start With “S”

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8 thoughts on “How Moms Can Make Easier Decisions”

    • You’re welcome! It is something that I used to struggle with, as well. I still do, but it’s gotten better now that I have a better understanding of what it is and how to mitigate it.

  1. Great suggestions on how to make decision-making easier for moms! I love the ‘Make Important Decisions Early’ tip! I usually leave those until the last minute, since they usually stress me out the most, but I can see how that wouldn’t be the wisest decision to make. Thanks for sharing!


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