I’ve been thinking a lot about decision fatigue lately – because I have it, big-time.
For many of us, each day holds (potentially) a thousand small decisions: what do I wear? What do I eat? What do I read or watch or listen to? How do I tackle projects at work, and in what order? Do I make this phone call, respond to that email, engage in this online conversation? And what on earth do I buy everyone for Christmas?
I’m easily overwhelmed by lots of options. The exception is a bookstore, where the browsing – for me – is a big part of the fun. (My husband, on the other hand, likes to pick one book and read it till I’m done perusing the shelves.)
In most areas of my life, the decisions can start to crowd my brain until it feels like there’s no mental space left. I like to have choices (and I’m often terrified of being bored), but in this busy season, I’m trying not to waste all my energy on small decisions. So the answers to a few key questions lately are nearly the same every day.
- What am I wearing? Some version of my winter personal uniform: black leggings and boots with a dress and cardigan, a cozy scarf and my jade-green wool coat. (I’m putting off the switch to the down coat as long as I can.)
- What am I brewing in the morning? Santa’s Secret black tea with peppermint, usually in my old cobalt blue mug from the Ground Floor. It feels just right in my hands.
- What am I reading? My Advent book, over breakfast. Working through the review stack, on my commute. And Winter Solstice, before bed.
- What am I eating for lunch? Leftovers, leftovers, leftovers. Sometimes boring, but reliably tasty. (Bonus: they’re free!)
- What am I cooking? Simple, tasty meals: pasta with veggies, chicken burritos, lots and lots of soup. (Bonus: leftovers!)
- What am I listening to? This one’s easy: Christmas music, all the time.
- What color am I painting my toenails? A festive, rich crimson – until I can make time for a pedicure.
- What am I ordering at Darwin’s? Chai. Always chai.
Maybe I’ll mix it up a little after the New Year. But for now, this is what’s working.
Are you an overthinker, like me? Do you thrive on routine, or do you relish the chance to make every day different?