Another question from our inbox - what’s the hardest thing about living the way you do? What’s your biggest struggle?
The hardest thing about fulltime travel is decision fatigue. Did you know this was a thing?
Decision fatigue is the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual, after a long session of decision making.Wikipedia.com
Upside of Suburban Life
Having that suburban house helps you make decisions by providing a constraint. Your house doesn’t move.
Daytrip to the State Park? That’d be really nice but it’s 3 hours each way and there’s church on Sunday.
Family reunion 3 states away? Sorry, can’t drive there in a day, the lawn needs to be mowed and the cable guy is coming.
Now, take away that constraint.
Travelers Decision Fatigue
You can school anywhere. Work anywhere. Live anywhere. For any length of time.
Where do you go?
With the world at your feet the process of deciding where to go can be the hardest thing about fulltime travel. We can spend hours planning a move of only a couple hours.
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Making all those decisions is exhausting.
What To Do About It
How do you deal with decision fatigue?
You’ve already done the first step. You are now aware of decision fatigue. Name and claim your villian to defeat him!
Imagine that you have a set number of decision that you are able to make daily - your decision-making gas tank. The more you can make your important decisions in the morning - when your tank is full - the better.
Don’t make important decisions while running on fumes.
Make Decisions That Lead to Fewer Decisions
Free up day-to-day decision-making power by doing some up-front investing:
- Create a Personal Uniform
Cut down on daily decisions about what to wear by creating a Personal Uniform.
- Create a Capsule Kitchen
Never heard of a capsule kitchen? MsBoyink has a 30 day series to take you through this process of simplifying your meal planning, shopping, and cooking.
- Choose Smaller Stores
Shop at places like Trader Joes (with 4K products) rather than a Super Wal-Mart (with 50K products).
- Setup a Watchlist
Spend some time choosing a collection of movies when you are fresh so you don’t have to do it when you are tired and just want to veg.
- Ask To Be Surprised
Overwhelmed by a six page restaurant menu? Tell a waiter to “surprise you”. Give him a budget and let him go.
- Get Rid of TV
Between deciding what to watch and being inundated with advertising TV is like drilling a hole in your decision-making gas tank. Plug that hole - ditch the TV.
- Choose a Theme
Setting out to see all the state capitols, visit all the National Parks, dip your toes in each Great Lake - a theme for your trip helps narrow your choices and eases the decision making process.
Good Enough for Now
Realize that there is no “perfect”. No “best”. And just as soon as you make a decision, one of the factors or assumptions you used to make the decision will change. Get over it.
Get good at “good enough for now”. In two weeks the decision you are making right now probably won’t matter. Good enough is good enough.
Sleep On It
The advice your grandmother gave you still rings true - often times the best way to make a decision is to put it off. Sleep on it and come back to it with your gas tank full.
Value Your Time
In college I worked in a small TV store. Those big floor-model wooden cabinet “console televisions” were still a thing. They were expensive - not the throwaway product that today’s TV’s are. People spent hours comparing brands, features, styles and prices before choosing one.
One day a guy strides into the store, scans the dozen or so TV’s on display, points to one and says: “I’ll take that one. When can you deliver it?” It took me longer to ring up the sale than it did for him to choose.
It impressed me. He knew the value of his time and didn’t waste it.
This is easier for those of us who are used to billing clients for our time. Most by-the-hour people charge at least $60/hr - use that as a guideline if you need to.
Take the Lead
Groups will wait around waiting for someone to make a move. Where should we camp? Where should we eat? Should we leave now?
Stand up and set the direction. Make the decision. People won’t be offended - they’ll appreciate it.
And accept that leadership from others when they offer it.
Are You Decided Out?
Tell us about it in the comments. But - you’ll have to decide what to write.