Decision Fatigue refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after a long session of decision making.
Decision fatigue is sometimes discussed in the “biohacking” sphere of the brilliant minded entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. These high performers are doing whatever it takes, to be as efficient as possible, in order to ensure their brains are firing on all cylinders and not clouded by making too many decisions. By doing so, they are hoping to achieve optimal success- usually involving gaining large sums of money for investments, reaching deadlines, and coming up with revolutionary ideas to change the world. These high level thinkers all seem to be super focused and driven towards their task at hand, so it makes sense that they want to eliminate the things that really don’t matter in their day. To bring it all together, these high level thinkers and entrepreneurs are trying to eliminate as many decisions as possible in order to focus all their energy towards what really matters for them to succeed. I’m here to tell you the same goes for athletic performance.
By limiting the amount of decisions you make in a day, you are able to focus more on the things that will actually improve your athletic performance- that is assuming you are looking to increase your athletic performance. Yes, I’m saying sitting in front of your closet for 10 minutes trying to figure out what to wear for the day doesn’t really matter. Narrow your focus on the things that do matter and your performance in the gym will improve.
My Top 3 Ways to Eliminate Daily Decisions for Increased Athletic Performance:
Morning and Evening Routines-
I don’t think of my morning and evening rituals as being just routines. I like to think of them as Standard Operating Procedures. I could pretty much run through both with my eyes closed because they are so engraved into my head. Not a lot of thinking goes on because they have become habit. With these Standard Operating procedures come a sense of flow state, which is meditative for me. Again, not a lot of decisions are being made here. I’m focused on my training…
I hired a coach for all of my fitness needs. This is by far the biggest thing you could do to help increase athletic performance. No need to go to the gym aimlessly not knowing what to do for that particular session. My coach does all of that for me. Not thinking about what I should be doing within that training session allows me to focus on the specifics of what exactly I am achieving in that session. This enables me easily reach a flow state during my time at the gym. Again, not a lot of decisions are being made here. I’m 100% focused on the present task at hand, since this is the thing I’m looking to improve upon.
I’ve read that some musicians, comedians, and even Mark Zuckerberg have gone to a uniform. That is, they have multiples of the same shirt and pants and wear them every day. I haven’t taken it to that extreme YET but I do have my go to’s and a system that works for me. My system cycles through my clothes so all I have to do is grab the next outfit in the rotation, which takes the decision of what I’m wearing for the day out of the equation. Again, not a lot of decisions are being made here. I’m focused on my training…
The Decision Game:
A game coined by none other than Tim Ferriss incorporates the idea that you only have so many points a day. Let’s say you start with 20 points. Every time you have to stop to make a decision you take away a point. The goal is to have points left over at the end of your day. Eventually working your way down to starting with 10 or so points a day.
Tomorrow when you wake up just make notice how many decisions you make throughout your day. Then dissect them to see if you can create a routine, habit, or strategy so you do not have to stop to think about that decision day in and day out. Once you master the art of making as few decisions as possible then I promise you will be more focused on your task at hand. With more focus comes increased performance- in my case athletic performance.