To put it as simply as possible, decision fatigue is the depletion of one’s ability to make quality decisions over the course of several decisions.
It’s a concept that applies so directly to the nature of the judicial profession that we would be remiss to not include it in our wellness section. We here at the Georgia Courts Journal hold no advanced degrees in psychology, but we hope to at least bring the concept of decision fatigue to the forefront of your mind with this page. This New York Times Magazine article from 2011 provides an in depth look at decision fatigue including the history of the concept, several interesting studies, and a look at the important role glucose has on the decision-making process.
Most other resources or articles, aside from the actual research studies, provide more or less the same information as the New York Times article with the exception that each one provides a handy list of ways on how to prevent/combat decision fatigue. We read these lists and shortened them even further into 3 tips to help you get started with managing the decisional deluge judges experience every day.
- Make big decisions in the morning. For most people the morning is the best time for making quality decisions. Sort out the complicated cases, write the tough opinion, and ponder the tricky sentence early if you can.
- Manage your diet to optimize your decision making ability. Managing glucose levels isn’t just for people with diabetes. Studies show that making decisions can lower our glucose levels, inhibiting us from making quality decisions. A well timed, healthy snack can improve our brain function which is especially important later in the day. An apple a day can keep decision fatigue at bay.
- Make your daily routine decisions the night before. Make a plan for the morning. Decide what’s for breakfast and lunch, and what to wear. Eliminating these choices will help carry your quality decision making ability later into the day.
Summary of Articles on Decision Fatigue
https://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/magazine/do-you-suffer-from-decision-fatigue.html An in depth look at decision fatigue including the history of the concept, several interesting studies, and a look at the important role glucose has on the decision making process.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/womensmedia/2019/05/13/how-to-identify-when-youre-experiencing-decision-fatigue/#2515fc707fb4. A general overview of decision fatigue with 7 tips on how to manage it. If you’ve read the New York Times above skip right to the numbered list about midway through this article.
https://jamesclear.com/willpower-decision-fatigue. Another general overview with a list of 5 ways to overcome decision fatigue.
https://www.developgoodhabits.com/decision-fatigue/. Another general overview with a list of 9 ways to overcome decision fatigue.
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/323748. Another general overview with a list of 9 ways to overcome decision fatigue.