Preventing Decision Fatigue


The best way to become overwhelmed with decisions, to experience Decision Fatigue, comes through doing absolutely nothing to prevent it. People who consistently make good decisions & maintain consistent self control structure their lives to conserve willpower (their decision-making energy). In other words, they employ habits that allow for consistent regulation of decisions.

Scripture has a lot to say about decision making to help each one of us make better decisions and better direct our decision-making energy.

1. Develop a habit of preparedness. (Matthew 24:44)

Preparedness requires spending regular time with the Father and learning His will. It means letting the Holy Spirit guide and direct decisions. Preparedness also involves taking care of the physical self, which helps maintain a long-term focus instead of being driven by immediate needs.

2.) Simplify. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Many of us become overwhelmed because of unnecessarily complicated (heavy) lives. Simplifying means automating where possible and releasing where necessary. Very few things are truly mandatory, things we actually HAVE to do. Decide non-negotiables, and then use energy for bigger decisions.

3.) Learn to say “no.” (Luke 10:41-42)

We don’t have to accept every opportunity presented. In fact, opportunities often distract from God’s desire for us. Many of our decisions involve deciding among good, better and best, not between good and bad. Jesus emphasized this when he said that what Martha wanted to do wasn’t bad, but what Mary chose was better. Know “How to Make Consistent Progress” by focusing on your purpose as Jesus did, and you’ll have a clear idea of what to say “no” to and what to accept by way of opportunity.

4.) Let others do their part.
(Exodus 18:23-24; Acts 6:1-7; 1 Corinthians 12:27)

Jethro advised Moses to delegate, so Moses wouldn’t get worn out and the people frustrated. The disciples needed to delegate in order to focus on their roles and still ensure needs were met. The concept of the body of Christ tells us we all have our own work to do, which also tells us some decisions just aren’t ours to make. We must allow others to fully do their parts too.

5.) Refuse to second guess. (Matthew 4:18-22)

Just as the the disciples did when Jesus called them into ministry, make the best decision you can and fully commit to it. Second guessing wears you and your ability to make good decisions — or any decisions at all — down.

6.) Develop an eternal focus. (Psalm 61:2)

Developing an eternal focus involves prioritizing toward that which benefits eternally rather than just temporally. It means getting our focus off self and off of what satisfies only in this world and onto our Creator who knows what is best for us.

Overcoming Decision Fatigue

The path to overcoming and preventing Decision Fatigue requires unique steps for each individual, yet all can apply the same biblical concepts. For every person that means…

  • Examining hearts & removing idols of self-reliance.
  • Learning to say “no” to good and trusting God’s leading toward best.
  • Consulting with God regularly.
  • Being intentional about self-care.
  • Setting boundaries.
  • Living within God’s will.
  • Living in community.

Do you feel overwhelmed thinking about where to start?

Let that overwhelm draw you to Christ and to his power. Remember that the resurrection of the dead revealed God’s unsurpassable power, and that we have access to that same power (Ephesians 1:19-20).

Ask God where to start. Ask Him how to become less overwhelmed with decision-making. Let Him gradually lead you to a place of focus where you feel His peace and where you can live with joy and effectiveness rather than in overwhelm.

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8 Replies to “Preventing Decision Fatigue”

  1. Love those points, Kari. I have a history of agonizing over decisions – still struggle with it, but much better than I was. I love point #5 – that's the one I need to work on. Also, If I do #6, it's much easier to make the decision – but I don't always do #6!

    1. Really takes a lot of deliberate and consistent effort to develop a habit of solid decision making, but it also takes lessening the decisions that need to be made in the first place. Small steps over time add up to make a big difference, that's for sure.

  2. Love this list! Simplifying and saying "no" have really helped me a lot recently. Since being promoted into a supervisor position I have not had the time or energy to do some of the things I use to do. I've had to let go or delegate (to my wife) some of the tasks I use to do. SO I can focus on my top priorities or tasks.

    1. My husband learned much the same way you are, Dan. I\’m learning to apply them more as a parent too. Small steps, my friend. Never keep making them. You\’ll look back after a while & see huge progress.

  3. Kari,
    Your good point of saying no at times is good. It helps to know when we say no we open up the opportunity for someone else to say yes. I agree you should not second guess your decisions. You gather all the available information you can and make the decision at the time you need to make it and don't look back. Saying that I do think it is beneficial to evaluate some of the more impactful decisions we make every once in awhile so we can decides if we want to consider other issues or information when making a similar decision. The growth of wisdom I think.

    1. I agree, Mark. Reviewing a decision made can be very beneficial. We make the best one we can with the information we have, but we may have to reevaluate that decision when we have new information or perspective. Of course, this is more imperative for the bigger decisions. Great point!

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