Over the past months, a few people I know have shared their feeling of being stuck. We talked about the uneasiness many of us feel due to the Covid restrictions. “I just feel like I’m stuck,” they’ve said. “I’m not sure why, but I’m tired of it.”
I put on my “coaching hat” and started asking questions: “When did it start? Did anything happen to cause it? Why do you think you feel that way?”
They talked about how the monotonous flow of life during the pandemic had put them to sleep. They no longer seemed quite as clear about what they wanted or what they could expect next. That could be, but while our pace of life may have slowed, the amount of information coming at us every minute of every day hasn’t.
I believe this point is one of the culprits for being stuck: Too many choices! There is too much information on too many subjects available to us instantly resulting in decision paralysis.
Any given Google search can yield millions of results in tenths of a second. We have access to all knowledge at any time. That thought, while exciting, is also overwhelming. No wonder people are stuck. How can anyone process the sheer volume, not to mention complexity, of information available to us?
To deal with this tsunami of information, I created ways to help curate the content that I consume. If I can lessen the number of choices I have to consider, I’ll make quicker (and easier) decisions, thus alleviating some of being stuck.
Try these suggestions to overcome decision fatigue:
- Go directly to the source whenever possible. Many search engine results repost information, which may have slants or biases added.
- Carefully read the media source before you open a link or post. Acknowledge your own biases (we all have them) and find sources offering a different perspective. I found this source helpful.
- Read reviews. Leverage the experience of others with a particular product or service, saving you time and energy freeing up time to enjoy the purchase you make.
- Set mental or physical timers. This prevents me from going too far down multiple rabbit holes when I’m trying to decide on the perfect new entertainment center.
- Unsubscribe from emails you don’t read.
Curating content helps cut through the choices.
Curating content is one way to shift into a flow pattern instead of getting bogged down as you research, seeking magic words that will motivate you to action. Otherwise, you risk getting mired, stuck, and unable to move forward.
While you’re on a roll with clearing, begin to clear other areas of your life. The more space you make in your mind and your home, the more room you will have to move, both physically and emotionally.
Finally, sometimes we must shut it all down. Pick a specific time of day and turn off all the devices. Give your ears and your minds a break. Sit outside. Go for a walk without earbuds. Sit and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you.
So, if you feel paralyzed or stuck, start limiting the incoming information and stimulation. Our hearts and minds need a respite from all the noise we receive every day.
Maybe that’s what “being stuck” really means: The realization our systems simply need a break so they can rest. Once the number of choices is reduced, the decisions are easier to make.