The world was recently introduced to the Chocolate Machine, a device created by German psychologists to exercise and improve self-control. The idea is based on a study showing that the more people are forced to resist a temptation, the less persistence they have in solving problems.
Apparently willpower is like a muscle, and it can get tired. The more you use it, the weaker it gets.
While you can work on strengthening that muscle with a device like the Chocolate Machine, wouldn’t it be easier to eliminate those tempting choices to begin with? I mean, in real life, no one’s going to sit down and force you to choose to eat radishes while mockingly shoving a plate of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies in your face.
But in real life, you do have to make a million tiny choices every day. And you only have to make so many before decision fatigue sets in. The result? Reckless decisions, or no decisions at all.
"The more choices you make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes for your brain, and eventually it looks for shortcuts, usually in either of two very different ways. One shortcut is to become reckless: to act impulsively instead of expending the energy to first think through the consequences. (Sure, tweet that photo! What could go wrong?) The other shortcut is the ultimate energy saver: do nothing. Instead of agonizing over decisions, avoid any choice. Ducking a decision often creates bigger problems in the long run, but for the moment, it eases the mental strain."(John Tierney for the New York Times)
Ducking decisions is no way to win a client or snag a candidate.
So how can you equip your employees to avoid giving in to decision fatigue?
You arm them with a great workflow.
Instead of asking “what do I do next?” workflow automatically reveals the next step.
Hiring manager liked the resume? Set up a phone interview to screen the candidate.
Candidate passed the phone screening? You’ve got a sendout.
Workflow takes much of the decision making out of everyday activities, so when a meaningful decision does come up, your employees can pull from a full reserve of willpower and apply their decision-weighing power at full strength.
With a great workflow in place, little decisions don’t deplete employees’ ability to choose. Recruiters and account executives can use their brain power where it really counts in the bottom line - candidate and client attraction.
this post originally appeared at www.sendouts.com.