brick wall with two signs saying 'yes' and 'no' to signify decision fatigue

How to recognise & reduce decision fatigue within your team

If you’ve ever experienced burnout, you’ve probably noticed some signs on your way to exhaustion. You lose interest in your daily activities and no matter how much sleep you get, you always wake up tired. What's worse? The smallest (and often subconscious) decisions become significant hindrances to your day.

Decision fatigue frustrates hard-working people. With growing numbers of remote workers and blurrier work-life boundaries, decision fatigue has become an increasingly relevant issue throughout the workplace.

Can you identify decision fatigue?

Decision fatigue is the feeling of exhaustion after making back-to-back difficult decisions over a long period of time.

Like burnout and other mental health issues, decision fatigue sneaks up on you. Your ego takes hit after hit throughout the day. You’ve spent most of your coffee-fueled energy by midday. Suddenly, every decision seems more difficult.

Maybe you find yourself less engaged in meetings scheduled close to your sign-off time. You might become frustrated when someone asks you to make a decision about dinner after a long workday. By this point of mental fatigue, people default to easier or safer choices.

Spending the day pivoting between important initiatives adds considerable weight to smaller considerations. Decision fatigue hinders productivity, stalls decision-making, results in spontaneous or poor decisions.

Why should your organisation recognise decision fatigue’s impact?

Continuing to ignore decision fatigue amongst teammates & colleagues threatens the entire organisation. People who suffer from decision fatigue may exhibit the following signs:

  • Impulsive “yes” or “no” choices without weighing consequences
  • Procrastination or late deadlines to push back decision-making
  • Requests for action, insights, or opinions met with overwhelm
  • Mental and emotional fog from feeling overrun

In a study conducted by the University of Cambridge, researchers discovered decision fatigue may have cost one bank $500,000 in loan repayments. Credit officers reviewed loan modification requests from homeowners struggling with finances and needing to adjust their repayments. Over some 26,000 loan applications, credit officers granted more lenient loan repayment terms in the morning. By midday, they were less likely to approve such requests.

Problems like decision fatigue can lead to burnout, with long-term consequences on individuals’ well being and overall workplace productivity.

Easing decision fatigue’s negative effects on your team.

Organisations should adjust priorities & timelines to establish consistent, well-planned collaboration sessions. The BMJ reports that promoting human connection & insight-sharing amongst team members reduces the risk of personal bias and mental fatigue. Effective team meetups can help frequent decision-makers bear the mental weight.

Axis provides an effective remote meeting process to handle critical decisions with your team’s help. Virtual collaboration methods have their challenges, but a proven all-in-one meeting productivity tool can take some stress out of more complex choices.

Anonymous idea-sharing

Ease your mind and offer everyone a chance to contribute to the discussion. Axis runs with anonymous idea-sharing and scoring methods so you can get the best insights from the quietest voices. Make true collaboration happen and make decisions faster.

Timed & structured design thinking process

Built with a design thinking framework, Axis helps you uncover real problems, generate thoughtful solutions, and collaborate with your team on the final result. No more stressful days spent in unproductive chats and drawn-out email threads trying to reach key decisions.

No-name voting & evaluation

Reduce time wasted on circular conversations about the same topic. Run any of Axis’s free meeting templates to give everyone a fair chance to score the team’s ideas. Make informed decisions based on real, relevant data.

One-click action reports

Give yourself a mental break and forget lengthy post-meeting writeups. With data-rich workshop exports at your disposal, you can track progress, recover bold ideas, and send actionable plans to your team.

Decision fatigue doesn’t have to stall your team’s productivity. Take the pressure out of decision-making & collaboration with a free Axis trial today.

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