Do you suffer from decision fatigue?

Do you have trouble with the multitude of decisions involved in accomplishing mundane activities? Like grocery shopping?

Here is how a typical trip to the grocery store evolves for me.

Before I leave home I choose the week’s menu, and make an organized list of the items I need to create these culinary delights. I enter Hannaford with a song in my heart, grateful to have funds to buy food in a clean, well-stocked store with wonderful employees who look out for my every need.

macro of shopping list money and pen

I have money and I’m full of hope. Also, the diapers are for my grandson. Depositphotos_Copyright_elvinstar.jpg

I begin my expedition and so does the decision-making.

  • Do I buy salad ingredients at the salad bar or in the produce department?
  • What is the best buy based on cost per unit?
  • Do I buy store brand or name brand?
  • Do I buy in quantity when on special? (I’m sure Patrick and I will eat a five-pound box of clementines before they turn into adorable little green fuzz balls that smell like finger nail polish remover.)
  • Do I buy organic or food laced with chemicals? (I am getting older so realistically how many years can I benefit from eating clean?)
  • Do I buy fresh or frozen?
  • Do I buy full fat or ‘lite?’
  • Do I buy salted, unsalted, or low salt?
  • How do I best avoid the person hawking samples?

On and on it goes. It’s enough to drive you straight to the liquor aisle but have you seen the choices in that aisle lately?

By the time I plod along to the check out counter I barely have enough energy to feel a sense of victory, before I have to start making more decisions.

  • Did I find everything I was looking for? (A little late to ask – I could have used your help in the liquor aisle).
  • Do I have any coupons?
  • Do I want plastic or paper?
  • Do I want my bags packed heavy or light?
  • Do I want my chicken double bagged?
  • Do I want my beer in a bag?
  • Do I want cash back?
  • Do I want help out with my cart?

As I wander dazed around the parking lot looking for my car, I feel a sense of relief that I don’t need to buy gas. The onslaught of decisions involved in that attempt might put me over the edge.

  • Debit or credit?
  • Car wash?
  • If yes on the car wash do I want Deluxe, Super Deluxe or Deluxe on Steroids?
  • What grade of gasoline?
  • Do I want a printed receipt?

Please forgive me for ending this post awkwardly and abruptly. I wrote up several brilliant endings but I can’t decide which one to use……..

Do you suffer from decision fatigue?

Photo credit: depositphotos: Copyright:TaniaLerro
©2016, Stevens. All rights reserved.
Editor’s note: This blog was originally published in January 2015 and has been revamped.

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19 thoughts on “Do you suffer from decision fatigue?

  1. OH my goodness, this is my life story! No joke! I honestly will walk into the grocery store, will become so overwhelmed with all the selection that even with a list I still leave with only half of what I went in for (if that).

    • It really is overwhelming, isn’t it? I think leaving with half of what you went in for is better than buying all the selections and leaving with four times what you intended, which can happen when indecision strikes.

      • Thought of you yesterday as I ran to the store for razors and while I was there grab a quick dinner to fix….after an hour of looking for the dang Manwich in my new to me grocery store I almost forgot the razors. (Never found Manwich by the way)

        • Oh my! New grocery stores are the worst! We are going to Portland in a couple of weeks and I suggested to Patrick that on our way home we do our grocery shopping at Whole Foods. I’m already having anxiety attacks thinking of the confusion and choices that I’ll face. I might have to bolster my courage with a shot of whiskey before I embark. And I HATE whiskey.

  2. For the life of me, I cannot make a decision when it comes to buying a big ticket item. I’ve needed a new laptop for over a year, but I can’t bring myself to pull the trigger. It took my cell phone battery’s inability to hold a charge for me to finally buy a new phone. Ugh!

  3. One good thing about shopping with children in tow is that there is no time for indecision! Also, I’m not really believing that the diapers are for your grandchild…

  4. The tyranny of choice. I don’t cope very well with huge stores, much prefer shopping at the weekly village market. Takes for ever though, because so does everyone I know and everyone insists on stopping for a chat.

    • Ugh! Don’t you hate that, Margaretha? Small town and chatty, nice people? That sounds harder to deal with than the woman hawking samples. Seriously, I also prefer smaller stores. I get overwhelmed in the big ones and do have a hard time making choices.

    • You are absolutely correct, Jodie. That’s why I have trouble with fashion. I’ve spent all my decisions in the grocery store, making a Star Trek uniform a welcome choice for my daily outfit. If only they weren’t skin tight, I think they might catch on.

  5. This is SO my life. Sometimes I wish I could hire a decision maker who would just make all the decisions for me. Maybe I need a mom for hire!

    Love this post!

    • Let’s face it Rosemond, we could all use a mom for hire! Once I scored a hat trick: grocery shopped, filled the car with gas and got a car wash. I bought myself a trophy so now I tell my husband he has a trophy wife. LOL! Thanks for stopping by.

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