Let's talk about decision fatigue...
I bet right now you have at least 3 things you're trying to make a decision about for your business.
As a small business owner, everything falls onto your plate in the beginning. From what products to create to packaging, pricing, where to sell, and marketing, there's a never-ending list of work. Early in the process of starting my own business, I realized that there was a HUGE list of to-dos behind the scenes.
The secret behind small businesses is that the list of decisions keeps growing as you grow. You'll face more and more decisions over time, which can wear you out mentally. So, how do you deal with the list of decisions to make when you are feeling exhausted by the process?
There are many strategies out there for dealing with decision making, but most of them boil down to a handful of ideas. Here are some personal tips from my own life:
Create a dedicated workspace.
I know it's challenging to find both space and the money to set up a desk, but it's a must! My desk is an inexpensive, small sheet of wood attached to a wall with supports. It gives me consistency in my routine and space to tackle my decisions. My brain automatically goes into work-mode when I sit down at my desk. It doesn't hurt to have a good pair of noise-canceling headphones and a few hours to work each day, too. If you're just starting out and juggling your small business along with other obligations, try to set aside time to get work done uninterrupted.
This picture was from when I first started my workspace. Now, I also have video ideas posted on the left side side of the wall and a cart on the right with all my audio/visual equipment for photography and videos.
Simplify Your Life.
Anywhere that you can create a routine or make a process easier, do it. We make so many decisions every day that having too much clutter, mental or physical, makes it more difficult. For me, this looks like organizing for my craft supplies, making a calendar for important tasks or decisions, and cutting down on decisions that don't add value to my life (such as what color shirt to wear.) Going through your space quarterly and donating items to others that you aren't using also helps keep your space more organized.
I also make it a point to log out of work mode at a specific time each day to carve out family time. Usually that looks like making an easy meal idea for dinner spending time together in the evenings. Regularly scheduling time away from work helps you to stay in a better frame of mind for when you do work.
Take Breaks or Ask for Feedback
If you're stuck on a decision or feeling overwhelmed, consider discussing it with a neutral party. This can be someone that you trust that has some professional experience with your question or who you know will be objective. If you're looking for objective advice or to make friendly business connections, feel free to join my Facebook Craft Business Support group!
You can also give yourself a break with a time limit, such as "I'll research this further, and Thursday morning I will sit down to make the official decision." Mornings are also considered the best time to make important decisions because your brain isn't fatigued yet. If you're worried about a list of decisions you still have to make, write them down and resolve to decide in the morning.
Spend Your Time on Important/Relevant Decisions
I've received this advice over and over from people further along into their businesses: Delegate.
Don't spend time and energy on aspects of your business that aren't your strengths. For example, if you're terrible at creating logos, hire someone to create your logo. Placing your time into the areas you are amazing at will grow your business faster. Outsourcing the parts that bog you down is an important investment in your growth.
Evaluate what are your strengths and focus on those! If you have a limited budget (which all small businesses do!), decide what are the most important things you need help with to start. Investing a small budget into aspects that you truly need help with will give you time back to create and grow!
Make a Decision for Now
There are going to be some decisions that you just don't know which option is the best. After you have evaluated all of the information, there may not be a clear winner. In those cases, it's best to just make a decision for now. Sometimes taking the leap to make a decision, even if it's not the winning decision, will still give you results. Small businesses have trial and error, and that information may help you for future choices. Just taking the next step frees up time and brainpower to move onto something else that could be exactly what your business needs!
What's your biggest challenge for decision making? Are you struggling with creating a space, getting feedback or just feeling overwhelmed? Let me know in a comment below.
Hi! I'm Ashley, a Cricut Product Expert, and