My son came into my office this morning and asked me if he could do something (I don’t even remember what it was now) and I literally stared at him.

I couldn’t decide.

I could not possibly make one more decision.

And it wasn’t even 9 AM.

Do you ever have that feeling? Where if someone asks you to decide something and you just look at them blankly.

I had hit the decision fatigue wall.

We make hundreds of decisions each day. What to wear. What to eat. How to drive where we’re going. Most of them are micro decisions that we don’t even notice (I decided not to step on the Lego earlier today).

But we also have to make a ton of important decisions too. Decisions about our health and our career and our families.

And I feel like once I became a mom, my daily decisions went up exponentially.

Because now I wasn’t only making decisions for myself (which still had to be made), but I was making decisions for one, and eventually, two other human beings.

I’m generally a pretty decisive person, but sometimes I just hit that wall. Where I cannot. Make. One. More. Decision.

And I hit it this morning.

I stared at my son as he asked me again. And I said to him the only thing I could possibly say.

“I don’t know.”

He looked at me like I was crazy. What do you mean, you don’t know? It’s a simple request (I think it was), and it’s a yes or no answer. Can I do it or not.

And I said again.

“I don’t know. Ask me later”.

You see, this morning I was absolutely exhausted. I didn’t sleep well last night, I’d had a stressful, busy week, the kids were under my feet constantly (or that’s what it felt like).

And I felt drained.

When you’re tired, the last thing you want to do is make decisions.

And that’s why no amount of good intentions on the decisions you need to make (“I will eat well today!” “I will exercise today!”) can overpower the exhaustion.

Does this sound familiar?

If you often suffer from decision fatigue, and feeling like you just can’t make any more decisions, here are a few things to focus on to help reduce that feeling of “I don’t know!”


Prioritizing your sleep is by far the best way to avoid this feeling. When we’re rested and refreshed, our mind works much better at making decisions and figuring out what we need to do. You might still hit that level of fatigue, but it’ll be at the end of the day instead of before 9 AM.

So how does one go about prioritizing sleep? I have tons of resources for that, I’ll link a few at the bottom, but if I need to pick one right now I’d say set yourself up for a great sleep routine. Pick a time you can go to bed at the same time every night, and do it. Set a time to get up at the same time every morning, and do it. And keep your activities before bed consistent. The other benefit of a sleep routine? It takes away the decision making about when you should go to bed.

Meal Plan

I cannot stress how helpful meal planning can be when it comes to decision fatigue. Even today when I had reached my daily limit of decisions by 9 AM, healthy meals and snacks were not a problem to follow through with because I already had my meals and stuff planned for the day. I knew what I needed to do to prep for stuff. I had my recipes. No decisions needed!

Have A Morning Routine

Just like having a sleep routine is helpful, having a predictable routine in the morning will take the decisions out of the way for the morning, which can be a busy, chaotic time for many people. And while you’re working on setting up a morning routine, squeeze in 2-5 minutes for a mindfulness practice of some sort!

Make Big Decisions Early In The Day

This doesn’t mean you need to make this a part of your morning routine, but if it works…? The truth is we tend to have more mental capacity in the morning (even if you aren’t a morning person). That doesn’t mean you need to make all your decisions by 7 AM, it just means that you have more capacity earlier in the day.

Delegate Decisions

We’ve all heard of delegating tasks, but depending on the age of your kids, maybe you can start delegating some of the decisions to them? Like deciding what they want for a snack. Or deciding what they want to pack for their lunch. What decisions can you delegate to your partner? Deciding when the kids’ dentist appointments need to get scheduled, for example.

Even deciding what to wear can take a lot of our decision energy. Steve Jobs (founder of Apple) was famous for only wearing jeans and black turtleneck. Steve Jobs knew that his energy was best spent elsewhere, and took out the energy needed to decide on what to wear each day. Something that extreme might not work for you, but you get the idea. If you can simplify your closet or your clothes, boom – decision made!

I cannot stress, however, the importance of sleep. If you’re sleeping well, you have way more capacity to make decisions, and with more energy to make decisions for yourself and your family, those decisions tend to be smarter and healthier.

How are you sleeping?

If you’re getting up exhausted in the morning, there could be a number of things happening. You can head on over here to check out my workshop on sleep.

I hope you’re feeling rested, energetic, and ready to make all the decisions you need to!

Some Resources

8 Things To Adjust To Sleep Better Tonight

Tricks To Sleeping No Matter What’s Happening In Your Life

Two Things To Focus On To Help You Fall Asleep

Are You Ready To Start Meal Planning?

Elizabeth Brothers Health