Take a step back and assess sit­u­a­tions before they wear you down.

3 min read

Opin­ions expressed by Entre­pre­neur con­trib­u­tors are their own.

Deci­sion fatigue is a real thing, what with those 35,000 we have to make each and every day. Iced or hot? Tall or grande? Two pumps or three? One shot or two? Coconut milk or almond? For here or to go? Cred­it or deb­it? And that’s just cof­fee. 

My ex-boyfriend used to ask me if I want­ed to watch an actu­al movie dur­ing our usu­al movie nights togeth­er. That’s because I would watch every sin­gle pre­view on Apple TV, par­a­lyzed by inde­ci­sion, and end up not pick­ing any­thing, final­ly leav­ing it up to him, hours in, rather than face the prospect of choos­ing the “wrong” movie. What’s the worst that could have hap­pened? I’d choose a movie, hate it and then watch it to the end? Stop it halfway through if it was real­ly bad? We all want to make the right deci­sion, but the worst deci­sion is always not decid­ing at all and watch­ing pre­views all night. 

Order­ing cof­fee and pick­ing movies are rel­a­tive­ly low-stakes choic­es, but this also holds true with the high­er-stakes deci­sions that life throws our way. You don’t need all of the infor­ma­tion, just enough to make a deci­sion and move on. Inde­ci­sion can be your own prison. As super­woman Anna Win­tour says, “Even if I’m com­plete­ly unsure, I’ll pre­tend I know exact­ly what I’m talk­ing about and make a deci­sion.” If the queen of Vogue and the Met Gala can fake it till she makes it with deci­sion-mak­ing, then, sis­ter, you can too. 

Relat­ed: 6 Ways Exhaust­ed Entre­pre­neurs Can Com­bat Fatigue

So, after you’ve paused and processed, it’s time to decide how you are going to pounce. To do this, you need to know three things: What exact­ly you are decid­ing? What are your options? What do you want the ulti­mate out­come to be? Then write down the pros and cons of each option. Do you feel like you took a long enough pause? If so, now it’s time to pounce.

When I look back at my own expe­ri­ences, they’re full of moments that I’m not par­tic­u­lar­ly proud of. Have I failed to pause in the past? For sure. Have I pounced too reck­less­ly? Absolute­ly. I am queen of the knee-jerk reac­tion. Say­ing what­ev­er comes to mind works fine with peo­ple who already know and love my quirky self, but it’s got­ten me into trou­ble with work folks, and it’s some­thing I’ve real­ly had to work on. 

Now I remind myself to pause before I make a deci­sion. If I had known then what I know now, the out­come would like­ly have been dif­fer­ent. But I also try and remem­ber that because I do indeed know more now, I should have bet­ter out­comes from now on. When faced with a deci­sion that is weigh­ing on you, give it the weight it deserves with a pro/con list. This gives you the most accu­rate pic­ture of what your deci­sion should be.

Excerpt­ed from Becom­ing Super Woman: A Sim­ple 12-Step Plan to Go from Burnout to Bal­ance.

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