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Decision Fatigue


One of the most common reasons my clients get stuck is being unsure about making decisions. A lack of confidence in decision-making might only affect specific areas. For example, they have no issue deciding which groceries to purchase or which social activities to attend. However, the decision-making challenge can surface when choosing how many black pants to let go of or where to begin organizing their home. It can feel like overwhelm, paralysis, or stress. This is an excellent time to reach out for help. There is no reason to remain in Stuckland.

There is another aspect to making decisions. Often, we’re on the fence about what to do. We have a few ideas but aren’t 100% sure which way to go. This is another terrific reason to enlist help. Use a decision-making buddy to help discuss options, weigh the pros and cons, or boost your confidence in making a choice.

10 10 10 Rule

Before you make a decision, ask three questions:

  • 10 minutes from now, how will I feel about this decision?

  • 10 months from now, how will I feel about this decision?

  • 10 years from now, how will I feel about this decision?

40/70 Rule

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell used this approach when making a quick decision. He would aim not to decide with less than 40% of the information needed, then act when he had close to 70% of the data.

80/20 Rule

Known as the Pareto Principle, this rule says that 80% of the outcomes (or outputs) result from 20% of all causes (or inputs) for any event. We often use this in the organizing world. For example, we only wear 20% of our clothes or refer to 20% of the papers we file. With that recognition, opting to let go will be easier.

3 Elements of Decision-Making

  • ClarifyIdentify the decision to make or problem to solve.

  • Consider – Think about the options and the positive and negative consequences of each choice.

  • Choose – Choose the best choice.

Golden Rules of Decision-Making

Make decisions when you’re . . .

  • not in pain and when your body feels strong

  • feeling loved and supported

  • feeling you are enough

Coin Flip

When all else fails, flip a coin. Heads you let ‘it’ go, tails you keep ‘it.” Then pay attention to how you react. Let your intuition guide you. Do the opposite of the coin toss result if the option doesn’t sit right in your gut.

Virtual Organizing

Decision-making is integral to all virtual organizing sessions with my clients. I provide support by:

  • Discussing the options

  • Holding space to think through a choice without feeling pressured

  • Setting boundaries around the decision

  • Reviewing pros and cons

  • Empowering agency to make decisions

  • Focusing on progress, not perfection

These are just a few ways to boost your decision-making skills.

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Nest by Revel™ Advisor Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®, CVOP™, is a compassionate, enthusiastic Professional Organizer and Coach, founder of Oh, So Organized!, author of The Other Side of Organized, Nest by Revel Coach’s Professional Organizer Advisor, and blogger on organizing and life balance. Linda offers virtual organizing worldwide, presents workshops, writes, and mentors other Professional Organizers. Media features include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and HuffPost. Linda lives with her husband between two rivers 30 miles north of New York City in a small, colorful home with a purple front door. They are empty-nesters as their kiddos are grown and living their adult lives.

The Revel Coach™ Blog is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not mental health, financial, business or legal advice. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose, treat, heal, cure or prevent any medical, mental or emotional condition. The information presented here is not a guarantee that you will obtain any results or earn any money using our content.


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