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Decision Fatigue AKA What's for Dinner?

Every evening, millions of people face a seemingly simple yet daunting question: "What's for dinner?" If you find yourself staring blankly into the refrigerator or scrolling endlessly through food delivery apps, you are not alone. This daily dilemma is a classic example of decision fatigue.

Decision fatigue refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after a long session of decision-making. In our busy lives, we are constantly bombarded with choices, from what to wear to how to respond to an email.

If you’ve ever ended a long day only to find yourself staring helplessly at a growing pile of clutter, you might be experiencing decision fatigue. When our brains are worn out from a day full of choices, the last thing we want to tackle is organizing the mess at home. Here are some examples of how to work around the decision fatigue we face at the end of every day:

What’s for Dinner?

Dinner doesn’t have to be an elaborate affair. Aim for simple, nutritious meals that can be prepared with minimal effort. Stir-fries, salads, and one-pot dishes are great options that require fewer decisions and less cleanup. Don’t shy away from cooking extra portions. Leftovers can be a lifesaver on busy days, providing a quick and easy meal with zero decision-making required. Transform leftovers into new dishes to keep things interesting.

The Mail Pileup:

Each day you come home and toss the mail on the kitchen counter. At first, it’s just a few bills and flyers. But by the end of the week, it’s a paper avalanche. Open everything and just throw out the trash. That’s one decision made over and over again, instead of having figure out what to do with all of it all at once. If you’ve still got the brain power, pull out the action items so you know exactly what to tackle when your mind is fresher.

The Shoe Explosion:

Your whole household has been kicking off shoes in random places around the house all week. Now, it looks like a footwear tornado hit. Decision fatigue means you just keep wearing the same comfy pair because finding a matching set feels like solving a Rubik’s Cube. Work this project in small bites of activity: gather shoes, everyone takes their own shoes and matches pairs, single shoes go in a basket until the mates are found.

The Big Picture:

Of course, the ideal is to set up systems like these throughout your day to create simpler decisions—decisions with only two choices like yes or no, mine or yours, keep or toss, rice or potatoes. By reducing the number of decisions you need to make, you free up mental energy for more important tasks.

Setting up these systems can help manage decision fatigue and keep your home organized. Whether it’s deciding what to eat for dinner or managing daily clutter, the key is to make it as simple as possible.


Let me help you create a more organized and stress-free environment. I can guide you through setting up effective systems to reduce the number of daily decisions you need to make, freeing up your mental energy for what truly matters. Together, we can turn your home into a haven of simplicity and peace.

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