Makeup or none? Smoothie or oatmeal? Clean the mess or be on time? Pay the bills or check Facebook? “Mom, what do I do next?!” “Mom, what’s for lunch?”
Decision-making is mentally exhausting. How much more so with noise and interruptions? Minimizing decision fatigue will help in reducing stress and increasing joy in your homeschool journey. World leaders have been known to stick with one style of daily clothing to reserve decision making to important matters.
What can you do to simplify? How can you plan ahead? How can you manage daily life decisions and shift responsibility to reduce decision fatigue? Here are a few tips.
There is no one ‘right way’ to scheduling your homeschool but there could be some wrong ways. Ask yourself “What is your need for structure and what is your tolerance for flexibility?”
You need to find your own rhythm for balancing structure and flexibility in schedules but one thing is sure, planning ahead—school schedules, meal prep, chores and more—is a solid way to reduce daily decision making and decision fatigue.
It’s essential that children learn to help in daily household management without your constant input. Understanding their chores in advance helps children operate independently. Will it always be smooth? No— they’re in training. My adult kids laugh when they remember me chiding “OK kids, I feel like an engine pulling cars with square wheels. Let’s get in motion here!”
Every home need to find its rolling rhythm, but I promise, work at it when the kids are young and it will pay off later. Make household management a team effort. Get the instruction and direction off your shoulders, and onto the kids’ through lists, charts and pre-communicated expectations.
User daily student planners to move responsibility for schoolwork from you to the student. I spent a few summer weeks filling out annual student planners (in pencil) with a rough schedule (4 days a week). When life happened and the schedule didn’t quite work, we doubled up or skipped lessons.
Regardless, personal planners definitely reduced the number of daily decisions I needed to make. Whether you fill your planners nightly, or annually, the goal is to reduce daily decision making. Find the method that works best for you.
Research shows, but we likely already know, that when we are mentally depleted we are more likely to take the path of least resistance, have less self-control, reach for glucose rich snacks, and be impatient with those around us. Ask God’s help as you assess where you can take charge and reduce decision fatigue in your daily schedule.