Have you ever experienced the “panic stare?” That’s when you stare at a problem for way too long without really doing anything besides thinking that you don’t know what to do. Or you sit down to study, but you’re not sure where to begin, and so you take way too long to get started, while you shuffle your papers aimlessly.
The more decisions we need to make, or the more options we have, the harder it is to act, or the more likely we are to act rashly or make snap decisions. The New York Times recently published an article on this topic entitled Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue?
What is decision fatigue?
The basic theory is this: the more decisions we make, the more our mental energy suffers, though we’re not necessarily aware of this fatigue in the same way that we’re aware when we’re physically tired. According to the article, we tend to deal with this mental fatigue in one of two ways: either we start making very quick, “snap” decisions without necessarily thinking everything through, or we just refuse to make a decision at all – we do nothing.