A one-off Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) game session taught me an important lesson about decision making. My husband is the Dungeon Master (DM) who creates and tells the stories in our 4-man group sessions.
On this particular occasion, 2 of our regular players couldn’t attend. So we played a one-off zombie-themed session. It was a cliched setting in a modern post-apocalyptic urban area we knew with the population consisting of average player stats (no magic, 100% realism). Yikes!
Basically, we played as ourselves and made decisions as we would if thrust into these scary moments. Let’s just say, our group has a problem with falling out of character to share information that our characters wouldn’t know for a more preferred story direction.
This session would be a practice to knock that 💩 out.
In this stage of gaming and business, I frequently experienced decision fatigue. I couldn’t make it past 5 pm without feeling burnt out.
This was a problem because the bulk of my writing time came in after 7 pm when our child went to bed. My personal writing and editing time already took a backseat to any client work.
What is decision fatigue?
Everyone makes decisions from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to sleep. Actually, even during your dreams, decisions are getting made.
When someone is required to make a lot of hard choices throughout the day, the chance of bad judgment increase near the end of the day. That is decision fatigue.
My brain would not process information well. Can you imagine what that would mean to my quality of work and my motivation for my business? 😬
How to deal with decision fatigue.
I found a few different solutions that worked for me. Ultimately? I had to release control over details. Here’s what I did:
1. Set Routine Schedules
I run the schedule for myself, my family, and my business. Honestly, how many women are in this boat with me? 🙄😉 Having things consistent on a weekly basis helps keep things easier on me.
- Monday is garbage day and my older daughter’s band practice.
- Tuesday through Thursday are for client meetings, interviews, and networking.
- Friday is my day to work on my own business.
- Mondays or Fridays are the days I aim for doctor appointments.
- And so on.
2. Plan Ahead
I now have a bullet journal to track, well, everything in my life. I’ve found a weekly spread helps keep all appointments, personal tasks, business tasks, shopping lists, ideas, and anything else I think of organized.
By keeping this bullet journal, I have several recipes, shopping lists, pantry inventory lists, and meal plans to keep the kitchen prepared. If it isn’t stupid easy, I’d starve.
My husband likes to think if he didn’t cook all the meals for me, I’d starve but I know how to make sandwiches and cereal just fine. 🙃
3. Delegate Responsibilities
Part of simplifying the whole decision-making process to reduce my decision fatigue included outsourcing or eliminating the decisions. What did that look like?
Well, in part, I decluttered the house. I was very strick with my process.
- Do I need or want this item?
- Does this belong somewhere?
- When is the last and next time this will be used?
Next, I gave responsibilities up. I started stepping down from team leadership roles at my office job since I knew I wanted to be all-in on writing. I no longer cared for a promotion and was committed to my exit strategy.
That alone eliminated a lot of decisions in my day. There are other ideas to develop healthier habits around preventing decision fatigue if you find this is a problem for you too.
How to make decisions using your intuition.
Back to the zombie session, I made many decisions based on what I first thought of. The decision-making process went so much smoother when I trusted my initial impulses, instinct, and followed through with the decision wholeheartedly.
The story was intense and accidents happened. We rolled a “1” on this night. This means everything about that moment related to the roll, went horribly wrong.
I never panicked about my choices. I don’t want to die. Yes, I screamed when I thought I was stuck with zombies about to get me. But that fear helped me keep looking at the scene in front of me with what that moment was about and 1 goal:
I never felt so much power over my decisions as I had that night. That is when I decided, I must apply this to my business as well.
My 1 goal: Get home.
I made the hard choices and developed new habits like those I previously mentioned, which would lead me to get home to my baby.
Is intuitive decision making right for you too?
This is where I’ll drop a little nugget of knowledge I wish I had in the early stages of adult life. Human design is a thing, is oddly accurate, and has helped me further along in my personal development than even becoming an entrepreneur.
Decision making using your human design is so powerful. I urge you to look into it.
It took a one-off zombie-themed D&D session to help me overcome decision fatigue and laser in on what was important. At least at this point, I could make the necessary changes to prevent burn out and build a sustainable business.
My first thoughts about what I should do have usually been the correct answers in the long-term. The more I trust my instincts, the more they have been correct.
You could test this theory out for yourself, or you could get your own human design chart to learn more about yourself from experts.
I want to hear from you! If you already know your human design, please let me know in the comments below or DM me on IG @_stefaniegary.