Decision fatigue is a thing. We have only so much koach (strength), and then it’s “Whatever. Sure, it’s fine.”
Especially as we’re making important decisions, we need to be on the ball. Decision fatigue – exhaustion from the hundreds of little decisions we make each day in addition to the big ones – can impair our judgement.
How can you minimize that?
One way is to save your decision energy for the things that matter. That means putting as much as you can on autopilot, which means instituting and then actually using themes.
Ma used to say: Wash on Monday, Iron on Tuesday, Mend on Wednesday, Churn on Thursday, Clean on Friday, Bake on Saturday, Rest on Sunday. Laura liked the churning and the baking days best of all the week.
–Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House in the Big Woods
(See? Not a new idea!)
I’ve posted before about daily themes. Actually, I called it a weekly routine (Monday is errands, Thursday is kitchen…). Same thing, really. Routine, theme, rhythm. But some people prefer one term or the other, so just read whichever word you prefer in the post, OK?
I have opened my ideas of this a bit to include more themes:
- I do weekly themed menu planning (Monday is breakfast for dinner, Tuesday is fleishig leftovers, Wednesday is new recipe night, etc.)
- We do a themed homeschool group time (Monday is parsha, Tuesday is middot, Wednesday is current events, etc.)
- We do a weekly themed housework plan (Monday is bathrooms, Tuesday is common areas, etc.)
- I do a weekly theme for the days (Monday is classes and yardwork, Tuesday is heavy homeschooling, etc.)
Do I always stick to those things? Nope. There are special trips, illnesses, guests, and of course, the frequent Jewish holidays that throw my themes and our routines out of wack – sometimes WAY out of wack (Hello, Passover? Tishrei?) But that’s OK. I know that if we skipped our middot learning one Tuesday because someone was sick or we had guests, we have it on the schedule for next week.
Periodic review puts things to right.
I want to emphasize what I just said: periodic review puts things to right. That means that we need to review and adjust, and do so regularly. Because just as soon as things go smoothly (and you laminate your list – or is that just me?), the baby stops napping, or a class starts on a different day, or it’s almost Shavuot, and you need to get things together to move toward the next mark. It’s not ever something you can finally check off your list.
It’s a process, not a end goal!
More on different themes / routines / rhythms to come. Just let that percolate a bit…
Do you have any of these themes going now, or did you in the past?