From choosing new shoes for the children to buying a new phone, from dinner plans to travel plans, there is no avoiding decision-making. All you need at the store is some salad, washing detergent, and a bottle of shampoo, but by the time you’ve chosen all three, you’ve looked at over 100 products and wasted countless minutes. No wonder making decisions can make you dizzy!

Day-to-day life does require a sizeable amount of decisions to be made. And understandably, there is a fair amount of stress attached to these decisions. Follow these tips to minimize decision-making anxiety:

Are You Ready?

Making decisions can be grueling if you’re already having a rough day. There will be times when you will need to save your brain cells and There is no avoiding decision-makingyour sanity, and decide not to decide. No decisions should be made while giving the children dinner or putting the children to bed. Have as many systems in place so that you don’t have to think: bedtimes written on a chart, toothbrushes in a visible place, and hairbrushes in an easy-to-reach location.

Is This Pass/Fail?

There are certain decisions that you want to be meticulous about, such as choosing a doctor, new car, and vacation destination. Many other decisions can be “pass/fail”; determine right away the level of time and energy needed, so you don’t overthink the decision. Buying flowers for your Shabbos hostess, for example, should not be something to agonize over; rather, it should take moments. Establish a routine like this at the florist: Is it a lush, pretty bouquet? Does it make you smile? Reasonable price? Great. Snap up the bouquet and don’t even look at the other plants. Just like those multiple-choice questions, go with your first instinct.

Think Clearly

Morning time, when your mind is clear, is preferable for multilayer decision-making. Many times, “sleeping on a decision” will help you come to the logical conclusion the next morning. However, big-ticket items shouldn’t marinate overnight, as you’ll toss and turn, be unable to come to a decision, and be useless the following day.

Outsource the Spiritual

The beauty of the directive in Pirkei Avot “to find oneself a rav,” and the Rebbe’s directive to establish a relationship with a mashpia (spiritual mentor), is that you get someone who has “been there, done that” (or at least has the necessary empathy and wisdom) to bounce ideas off.

Outsource the Practical

For practical decisions, outsource the decision altogether by asking someone else how they navigated a scenario similar to yours. Consider Be aware of certain friends’ intrinsic biasesasking friends, as they can be a mine of information. But be aware of certain friends’ intrinsic biases, and ask the right friends depending on the decision at hand.


The more systems you have in place, the less you’ll have to use the decision-making part of your brain. So, go ahead and plan your menus, get your clothes organized ahead of time, and have a consistent date night with your spouse set in place. The fewer decisions you need to make, the better.

That’s my decision, and I’m standing by it.