sessifet25 linked me to an article titled Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue?. Rather than being the usual trite '10 weird tricks to fix your life' it talks about studies and what was learned around willpower, and it resonated.
The article talks about how willpower is a finite resource, and how poor people are trapped in a vicious circle not just because of money, but because having little money means you constantly need to make tradeoffs. This bears out, as most people (myself included) wants enough to be 'comfortable' and 'not to worry about money'. So this added drain on willpower means people have less left for making decisions.
I've found decision making to be tiring. I don't like closing options off and in some cases I've simply opted to do nothing about some things - i.e. be stuck in a rut.
I've made some big improvements in some of these areas like delegating portions to others (more on this later) and cutting sugar out of my tea.
Cutting sugar out of my tea turns out to be a poor idea in the end. I've noticed that I'm eating more junk and have less self control as a result. I thought the lower self control may be down to the Mardi Gras effect as mentioned in the article - lowering pleasure meant lower self control. However it appears it's just down to glucose. So I've literally just reversed that no sugar in tea rule but will look at other areas like choosing healthier options and smaller portion sizes instead.
At work today I noticed I was able to make a whole bunch of decisions on someone else's problems, but when it comes to my own I'm much more reluctant to make decisions. Without wanting to sound harsh, I think this is mainly down to not having to (directly) live with the consequence of my decisions. But this brings up an interesting point. I've always wanted to work in a 'team' where we talk and share and discuss work - which is what I have now at my new place. What I think I've discovered is why I want that - it's because you can make some suggestions to a colleague on some problem, and have them (or another) do the same for you - this lessens the willpower burden on both of you but instead of having to consider all the options (providing you respect their judgement and opinions) you simply have to consider whether that one option is good. You are still ultimately responsible for your own work, but you have help. The old adage "a problem shared is a problem halved" seems to really come into it's own here.
I actually think this work sharing ethic creates a healthy working environment and think this mechanism should be recognised and taught to people. Aside from anything else it would greatly aid communication which tends to be the bane of corporate culture everywhere.
Now tell me who already knew that and whose work allows you to practise this?