Every day we make dozens of important decisions. COVID-19, the subsequent lockdown, working from home, and schools being closed/open/closed/open, have worn us down. We just want to tick items off our list to stop the agitation.
Decision fatigue refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after a long session of decision making, and I would say the pandemic qualifies as a long session. I bought a huge stockpile of canned soup so that I didn’t have to make another meal decision for daily lunches. Soup…eat it or starve. (No, I probably won’t be asked to compete on MasterChef anytime soon.)
Money issues can trigger such responses but can have more serious consequences. The word “money” can automatically move it to the top of the pile and make us react.
But wait…Is there a better way? You bet!
Every decision will fall into three distinct categories— “urgent”, “important” and “this can wait”. Quickly categorizing your issues, especially as they pertain to money, can save you a heap of trouble. Let’s define these groups.
Urgent: The tasks that fall into this category have to be attended to immediately. Not to be too graphic, but it can be related to having to visit the restroom when the urge hits and cannot wait or be put off until later. Perhaps you receive a text from your bank that you must make a deposit right now or at the close of the business day, your account will be in overdraft, and charges will be applied. Urgent demands that you react right now.
Important activities help you achieve smaller objectives and then larger goals, often on a daily or weekly basis. If you have a report due at the end of the month and you do some research and some writing every day, and meet your deadline, you’ve completed an important task. Now, if you’ve put off the report all month and it’s now due the next day, it becomes urgent.
The tasks that can wait have minimal or no short-term or long-term consequences. They can be done when you have extra time and you’re relaxed; reading a book; watching a documentary; trying out a new pineapple and chicken liver pasta recipe. (Some things can wait forever.)
These lists are not comprehensive but they give you a guideline as to how you can approach your finances and other areas of your life. The goal is to be decisive and not reactive and to reduce your decision fatigue. No matter where you are on your journey to financial wellness, we at CESI want to help so please contact us for a free debt analysis today.
Filed Under: Be Prepared Financially, Cheap living, Credit & debt, Credit Cards, Family, Finance for Young Adults, Financial tips and tricks, Money management, Money saving tips, Relationships and Money, Spending, Ways to save money
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