13: Burnout

A Thousand Things to Talk About
13: Burnout
Photo: Andrea Parrish

Photo: Andrea Parrish

Today, we’re talking about burnout. Specifically…

Is citing decision fatigue a legitimate reason to ask someone to wait for an answer on an important question?

Show notes and links:
Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength (Amazon)

Full episode text

Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how logical, rational, and careful you are. Sometimes we all make bad decisions. What exactly goes into those bad decisions is a matter of much inquiry and consideration – partially because bad decisions can have such long-ranging impacts. Several studies by psychologist  Roy F. Baumeister (later expanded on in his collaborative book) suggested that willpower is a limited and trainable resource — and can be tired out. A number of later studies have confirmed that asking individuals to make long strings of difficult or challenging decisions has a serious impact on the objective quality of those decisions.

So if someone says that they have decision fatigue, and you’re waiting for a decision from them, do you consider it a “legitimate” reason? Or is the decision fatigue just another factor to consider and not a great reason for making you wait? How do you, personally, handle decision fatigue?