Five ways to overcome decision fatigue

Written by Christine Clark
Published on March 12, 2021

If you stop and think about it, you and your family have been under enormous stress since March and faced with daily decisions that seem to have big consequences. On an hourly basis, your top concerns can swing from how to keep your families safe to what your family is going to eat for dinner. You have a range of decisions that go from borderline life-or-death on one end of the spectrum—and then snacks on the other. You wrestle daily with balancing working at home, changes in household income, worry about your kids’ amount of screen time, and even making time for your spouse. There are a whole host of life issues big and small you are trying to balance. None of us prepared for the onslaught of daily decisions we are now facing. It can be frustrating to be paralyzed by even the simplest of decisions.

The other day I heard the term Decision Fatigue and I immediately thought “that’s it!” Decision fatigue is the deterioration of your ability to make decisions after a long season of decision making. In other words, the more decisions you need to make, the worse you are going to be at weighing all the options and discerning God’s leading in your life. Making decisions all day long is exhausting. Constant decision making can deplete the resources in your brain. Many people do not realize that even small decisions (what shirt to wear, what to eat for breakfast) can add up to be a huge energy drain if you stack enough together. Ultimately decision fatigue can lead to decision avoidance.

Here are five Scripture-based suggestions to carry with you as you travel through the weeks and months ahead.

  1. Start each day setting your focus on God. It is almost a cliché to say start each day in Bible study and prayer. It seems too simple, but as you roll out of bed and hit the day running it is easy to skip this step in your morning routine. Starting the day reminding yourself you are loved by God and He is your guide has enormous power to set the tone for your entire day.

 

Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life. – Psalm 143:8 NIV

  1. Trust God and rest in the knowledge that He will work everything out for your good. Right now, it is hard to see God’s plan in all that is going on in the world. As the stress of the day starts to mount, and so much of what is going on is so far out of your control, it is hard to remain calm and rest in the knowledge of God’s love and purpose. If you are in Christ, God is going to use everything that happens to you for your good. Knowing that good is going to result from your decisions, regardless if things pan out the way you imagined or not, should give your heart and mind peace.

 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. –Romans 8:28 NIV

  1. Approach decisions in an attitude of prayer. In his blog, Five Principles for Biblical Decision Making, David Jeremiah, says it best, “Prayer is our way of asking God for His proffered wisdom, given liberally and given willingly to those who ask for it. Prayer is the incubator of our best ideas and the source of our freshest creativity. Prayer is our lifeline to finding and fulfilling God’s perfect will in all we say and do.” You will find it easier to rest in your decision, if you have spent time prayerfully considering God’s guidance. This can be as simple as praying over a list of pros and cons of a situation, or it could be listening to that quiet voice whispering in the back of your mind.

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways submit to Him,

and He will make your paths straight. –Proverbs 3:5-6

Prayer is also the best tool to use to tune out all the noise coming for your newsfeed, social media, television, and other sources. As all the external noise heightens your stress level and makes each decision seem bigger than the last. Bringing your fears, anger, and frustration to Christ is the best way to sort through the fatigue of your current environment.

  1. Seek community with fellow believers. As you wrestle with the decisions facing you and your family, seeking advice and encouragement from your tribe can help reduce the sense of loneliness many are feeling these days. As you practice social distancing and stay at home more, it is easy to become isolated. Every single one of us craves the feeling of being part of something bigger than ourselves. By nature, we are tribal people and we desire to be connected to a community. If you have trusted family members, friends, and mentors around you, you are not alone! Seek out the counsel of wise people around you.

 

Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. –Proverbs 19:20.

  1. God is sovereign even in wrong decisions. The pressure to make the right decision can be crippling. Even a simple decision, such as what to make for lunch, can be devastating when you feel that you have blown your diet or made a lunch no one will eat. When pushed into the corner with a big life changing decision or smaller day-to-day decisions, it is important to remember the grace and mercy God has for you. How sweet is this reminder from Hebrews, that we will find His grace to help us when we most need it.

 

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. –Hebrews 4:16.


 

This article was originally published on Parenting Pathway. https://parentingpathway.org/five-ways-to-overcome-decision-fatigue/ 

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Christine Clark

Christine Clark is the Ministry Leader for Family Ministries at Stonebriar Community Church. She has a passion for supporting parents and helping them gain confidence and tools to be spiritual leaders in their homes.  Christine is responsible for programming and initiatives that span the Family Ministries Team, serving families with children birth–twelfth grade. She is also responsible for the Stonebriar parenting tract, including the Parenting Pathway blog and podcast, Parenting Pathway classes, Straight Talk classes, and annual parenting workshops.

 

She is blessed to be the mom of a high school Junior and the wife of her college sweetheart for 25+ years. She recently co-authored a resource book for Blended Families, Building Blocks to Make the Family WHOLE Again.  She is also an avid sports fan who loves all things football, especially in the fall in Texas.

Read more about Christine

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