After exploring more articles in the past hour then I have in the past month, I continually found myself coming back to one particular one ironically discussing decision fatigue. I more often than not would classify myself as a relatively indecisive person, but additionally, I thought the topic was applicable to the majority of our class, all of whom are seniors, steadily approaching the fate of the real world. Before we know it, our upper level education will culminate with a sleek-looking diploma and a series of choices all focused on the idea of, “What next?” (i.e., Where to live? What to do? What to eat when Dana is not across the quad?)
In the article, Tierney defines decision fatigue as the mental exhaustion one’s brain feels after making a series of choices eventually causing future thoughts to become irrational. When fatigued, your willpower depletes and one is more apt to make trade-offs.
The article connects fatigue or low willpower to both low glucose levels and the constant desires everyone experiences, especially media related ones. It is hard to tell when exactly one drifts from making good decisions to making bad ones, but it is crucial to try to notice when focus shifts to merely short-term gains (due to a decrease in amygdala activity) and irritability increases.
Over 50,000 people either tweeted or shared this article via Facebook, so clearly decision-making is a common challenge. This being said, what next? The article mentions the increasing ego-depletion strain we experience as compared to our ancestors. As I wonder about my what next in terms of career, I suppose I wonder what is next for the human population as more choices and technology are becoming available. Will decision-making eventually dominate changes in our brain to yield us useless in situations? If you remember nothing else from my post, just do your best to always have a candy bar handy for when that pesky relative may inquire about where you see yourself next year so that high glucose can inspire some great thoughts.