3 Ways to Beat Decision Fatigue


It’s been said that the average amount of decisions an adult makes each day equals about 35,000. This number may sound incredibly high, but in fact, researchers at Cornell University found that we make 226.7 decisions each day on just food alone.

When you start to think about it, our daily decisions include things like:

  • what to eat
  • what to wear
  • what to buy
  • what we believe
  • who to spend our time with
  • who to hire
  • what we say and how we say it
  • how to raise our children
  • what they will eat, etc.

Not to mention that as our level of responsibility increases, so does the number of decisions you are faced with.

35,000 decisions/day. 

Sounds about right now.

Now let’s talk about why this matters to all of us as business owners. While I’d love to say that the road to success eventually becomes easier over time, we all can agree that’s just not true.  The reality is that the minute you’ve conquered one hurdle, another one pops up out of nowhere, making it feel like you’ve stumbled your way back to square one.  It’s the rhythm of entrepreneurship that we all know too well – fall down, rise up, fall down, rise up, fall down, rise up.

Tucked into the rhythms of our days are these 35,000 decisions that we make as leaders.  Simply put – our ability to make wise decisions is vital. However vital they are, the sheer amount of decisions can be wearisome and result in decision fatigue.

Decision fatigue is what happens when we’re so drained by all of the decisions we have to make that we are not able to do our best thinking and make the best calls.

While I still experience decision fatigue consistently, thankfully, there are ways I found that help me to beat it before it beats me. Here are three things that work for me.


Rest is the primary driver of mental and physical energy.  Because of that, it’s crucial to get the sleep we need each night.

To get true rest, I’ve learned that I must first be a student of myself. My energy fluctuates during the day, meaning that there are times when my energy is high and productivity is high as a result.  I’ve learned to lean into the times of the day when I’m the sharpest and most alert and schedule a time to focus on big projects during those times, leaving the busy work to other times of the day so your productivity doesn’t suffer.


There are two words that I’ve embraced wholeheartedly over the past year and those words are “You Decide.” 

As leaders, you simply can’t do everything. That’s why it’s critical that we’re wise to that and we’re incredibly discerning about what decisions we allow ourselves to make and we challenge ourselves often to delegate any decisions that are not essential for us to do to our team.


– Dawson Trotman


Powering through the fatigue is sometimes necessary, but do you want to make calls that will affect your month or year when you’re exhausted?

One thing I’ve found that helps in fighting decision fatigue is to not be afraid of putting larger decisions on hold (for a day… a week… or even a month) and come back to it later when we are recharged. Hit pause.  It really does help.

Our decisions as leaders have the potential to collectively work together to create great success for us personally and professionally.   While we can’t always pick optimal conditions for decision-making, we can be aware when situations are not ideal and plan accordingly. Decision fatigue is something we can beat!