8

The Barefoot Investor

A great Australian financial adviser Scott Pape is the author of the best-selling book “The Barefoot Investor”. He once said “We’ll plant the seeds of wealth. We’ll watch them grow, and then, we’ll enjoy a life-changing harvest… Let’s begin”

THE BAREFOOT INVESTOR

This book is a fantastic read. I was surprised about that. I expected it to be dry, boring and without any practicality. To my amazement, the first part of the book was all about Scott’s life in rural Australia and about how this book was the Phoenix rising from the ashes of his life after his farm, house and livestock were destroyed in one of our typical raging bushfires.

You may have heard about the recent fires in Greece leaving peoples homes in ruins. Well that is how this book starts and I was touched by the way he was not all weepy about it, but instead, stoically and with humour, found a way to get back on track and rebuild his life. (I felt like crying about his Alpacas).

Scott Page writing style is that of a typical Aussie. He is a no bull-shit kind of guy and writes in the Aussie vernacular. When he gets to the step by step method of how to financially pull your arse out of the fire. He does it with humour, a little irreverence and a hole lot of very practical advice.

He has a weekly date night with his wife where they leave the kids at home, enjoy a glass of wine and dinner and as partners work on their weekly budgets and money plans.

FINANCIAL CONTROL IS NOT EASY

Scott talks about as children we have all sorts of insecurities.

Let me tell you now that doesn’t change even when you are fifty-something. Those negative scripts become ingrained because no-one knows your secret burdens. No-one challenges those negative scripts that auto-play in your head whenever things go bad. So they become ingrained and apart of who you are and eat at your self-confidence. Thus, you are trapped in a pattern of day in, day out life, at jobs you have no interest in, and relationships you have outgrown, in a sad financial state that seems to lock you in a lifestyle as surely as prison bars.

START TO BE SMART WITH MONEY

Learning this skill has more to do with behaviour than brains. Of course, saving is the beginning of investing and excuses are the death of investing. It takes courage to look at your financial situation and change it. There are nine steps to gaining control of your finances and you need to focus on doing just one thing at a time. This will help you to not get overwhelmed.

These headings sound a little silly until you read each chapter of Scott’s book and then they make sense. Oh, did I mention Scott is very fond of illustrations which I found lightened the subject. A picture is worth a thousand words, in which case this book could have been twice a s thick.

STEP 1 – Schedule a monthly date night to organise finances

STEP 2 – Set up your buckets

STEP 3 – Domino your debts

STEP 4 – Buy your home

STEP 5 – Supercharge your wealth

STEP 6 – Boost your mojo to three months

STEP 7- Get the banker of your back

STEP 8 – Nail your retirement number

STEP 9 – Leave a legacy

PLANTING THE SEEDS OF WEALTH

In three simple Barefoot Steps (and five Barefoot Date Nights) you’ve achieved what 95 per cent of the population will never do. You have:

  • Made a commitment to becoming a little wealthier each day
  • Set up your financial infrastructure so you’ll pay zero bank fees, and, more importantly, put your day-to-day money decisions on autopilot.
  • Rounded up your long-lost super funds into an ultra-low-cost fund
  • Done something very un-Australian by cutting up your credit card(s) and begun the process of domino-ing your debts
  • Become one of the 7 per cent of Australians who have the right amount of insurance.

GROWING

Is about focus on earning more, saving more, and then intelligently and tax effectively compounding your money over and over. So in this section of the book Scott explains how you can double your income.

• Show you how to save up a six-figure house deposit in 20 months, and introduce you to a young, single woman on average dough who bought her own home

• Step out a simple strategy that puts your investing on autopilot so you’ll never have to worry about money again

• Secure your kids’ financial future — first by explaining Scott’s ‘jam jar’ approach to teaching financial education, and then by giving you an investment plan that could deliver a $140,000 cheque on their 21st birthday.

• He revels a plan to triple your money in 10 years with a little-known investment property play.

HARVEST

In Harvest, Scott shows you how to

• Save $77, 641 on your mortgage and wipe out almost seven years of payments

• Reveal the dirty secret that the mortgage industry doesn’t want you to know

• Step out your ‘retirement number’ and show you how to nail it

• Give you the phone numbers of independent financial experts who can help you … not sell you.

Make a commitment to managing the most precious resource you have — your time — to create a legacy that will live long after you’re gone.

MY CONCLUSION

This is the only money guide you will ever need and a must buy book.

Finance is a dry subject and a scary one at times. However, the Barefoot Investor is an easy read and thought-provoking in the way it makes you change the way you think about money. Scott lays down and easy to follow step by step guide. Nothing is hidden, he is very transparent about his field of expertise (Finance and Investing)

Here are a few people that have high praise for Scott Page

  • Scott is one of the best communicators on financial matters in Australia — in fact, one of the best communicators full stop. More importantly, what he writes not only makes common sense, it’s correct and has integrity. He’s a commentator with no axe to grind (apart from the one at his farm)

Alan Kohler, ABC Finance Presenter, Constant Investor

 

  • I have always enjoyed reading and listening to Scott talk about money. He is my sort of money guy as he talks in a language we can all understand. More importantly, he speaks the truth about money. There are, barring a miracle Lotto win, few shortcuts to wealth, it takes time and effort. This book can really help you to take control of your money. Scott’s no-nonsense style is easy to read and he provides a step-by-step guide that will give readers a path to financial security.

Paul Clitheroe AM, Chairman Australian Government Financial Literacy Board

 

  • Why is this the #1 book I recommend to anyone who wants to invest in financial freedom? Because it is much more than just another money book. Scott provides a framework, great ideas and compelling writing to bring to life practical strategies that will truly allow the reader to tread their own path — to achieve financial security, live a purposeful life and leave a lasting legacy.

Arun Abey, co-author of How Much Is Enough?

 

  • Scott Pape has delivered on a promise often made but rarely kept: this is useful, inspiring and practical advice. His story about the apple tree is worth the entire cost of the book.

Seth Godin, bestselling author of Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

Click on the image at the top of the page to buy or simply click HERE

I would love to hear your comments if you have already purchased this book. Drop me a line and let me know your thoughts.

 

Cheers Coucka

 

8

Writing tips for Bloggers

WRITING TIPS AND TRICKS

Old proven writing tips and tricks that have been used for centuries, unfortunately, some of them no longer apply in the digital age. Readers now have a 140 character attention span and as a writer, you have to be aware of new writing techniques to psychologically keep your readers engaged with your blog.

If you are new to creative writing, you may not understand how crucial it is to load “Tension” into your plot outline. Most books or articles have “Tension Deficit Disorder” this is when the reader is losing interest with your article and can skip a page or two and still the plot or message that you are trying to convey has not moved forward. This is very bad for you.

For new writers, there are three types of writing styles and you will fall into a category by recognising these characteristics in yourself.

  • THE PLANNER – Is methodical and first will set out their broad plot or outline. Secondly, they will plan a detailed outline scene by scene to grow their story and the character development. Thirdly they will construct line by line.
  • THE PANCER – Is an intuitive writer and may, or may not set out a plot or outline. They will literally write out their story by the seat of their pants. However, there are times when inspiration runs dry and plotting may become necessary until intuition kicks back in.
  • THE TWEENY – Is somewhere between a planner and a pancer.

OUTLINING YOUR ARTICLE

The lack of tension even in the plotting stages is a problem when the plot is slow, there will not enough happening to grow each character and to move the story forward. If a page can be skipped by the reader and they can still follow the plot, then you may need to consider removing those pages. Each page must add value to the message or story you are telling.

Without tension, the script is not a page-turner. Tension must make the reader feel sad, uncertainty, uneasy, worried, excited, frightened, aroused or questioning. If you can get readers to question you, you will then get more social comments on your website.

Tension in writing has a powerful physiological effect on the reader. If you have sufficient tension in your story and you make it personal, the reader will not be able to stop reading. This little trick will have triggered an addictive hormonal response in the reader.

Have you ever read a book until 3 am in the morning simply because you could not put it down? Not many books create this condition but the ones that do are usually best-sellers. So, let me explain what is happening to the reader’s body when you have added sufficient tension to your writing.


READING AND HOW IT RELATES TO AROUSAL, EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL CHANGES TO THE READER

1. The human brain looks at how much sensation is generated by a particular activity across the whole body and ranks how seriously to rate these sensations, this includes the primitive or lizard part of the brain which is stimulated by survival, reproduction and fear. If both the primitive and more modern part of the brain are stimulated then bingo! Bango! A cascade of hormones are released. Every person has an optimal level of arousal and we like to keep it there, which makes the hormone dopamine particularly addictive.

When a reader is aroused in relation to reading, the brain releases dopamine as a predictor of the intensity of this pleasurable activity. This increases your focus and endurance which keeps you reading when you should be asleep.

When the reading activity has sufficient tension the dopamine continues to be drip fed into the body systems. If the reading activity exceeds expectations then a dopamine surge makes putting down the book impossible.

Interestingly, if you are interrupted from your reading pleasure, you will be compelled to undertake the reading activity again as soon as possible. This dopamine prediction process is sometimes called “Emotional Memory” which is why it is so difficult to end relationships that are sexually rewarding.

2. We have what is called mirror neurons in the brain. When it comes to chemical response, the brain does not always distinguish between actual experience and shared ones. An example of this why we can get as excited by watching sport as playing it, or empathise when someone cries with grief and loss, or be stimulated by pornography, or have a physical and emotional response to a great book.

Mirror neurons will give you that warm rush if you read a romance or a cold wash of dread if you are reading a horror. The lizard (primitive) part of the brain causes this kind of reaction, and that is why we add tension in our writing.

If a reader has a physical response, this means you have succeeded in your quest to influence the reader and that is essential if you want to sell a LOT OF COPIES.

Think about the first great book you ever read. I bet it pops instantly to mind. Why because it ticked all the boxes for you chemically, emotionally and physically. That book moved at the right pace, was filled with tension, expanded your imagination and left you panting for more of the same.

3. Write your books like candy, have people wanting to read your book against their better judgment because your writing is so gripping. I know when I read the first book in a series and I loved it, then no matter how broke I am I must have the rest of the series. (My poor credit card suffers)

Levels of serotonin are produced which are chemicals related to obsession and compulsion. Serotonin feels as good as dopamine. This leads to impulsive book purchases in a desire for further reading gratification. Human beings have chemical reactions that are intrinsic responses to tension. You need to remember that and write accordingly.


IN SUMMARY

Remember every page must add value to character development and the storyline. If you have content that does not accomplish this, ditch them. We now live in a world of 140 characters.  Everyone online has very short attention spans. You need to move quickly, let go of some dated writing techniques which will no longer work for new generations. This includes keeping your paragraphs shorter. Keep more white space on the page, because this makes it easier to keep reading.

Long paragraphs are more difficult to read. Remember, keep your prose fresh, keep it fast and add lots of tension.

I hope this was useful to you and if you have any questions please feel free to comments below. I would love to hear from you.

Cheers Coucka

 

6

HOW TO RELEASE MONEY BLOCKS

HOW TO RELEASE MONEY BLOCKS – HAVING A MONEY MINDSET

Until recently I had never heard of a money block, never mind releasing money blocks, apparently, the whole point of clearing money blocks is to stop low-vibe thoughts and feelings.  Instead, be active and clear the field to introduce positive and abundant thoughts and feelings. I do like the idea of a more positive mindset, so I continued to dig further into this subject.

To remove your money block you first have to become aware of what they are by tapping into the power of your unconscious mind. I found several articles on this mystical magical money-making mindset theory and here they are…

10 Ways on How to Remove Money Blocks

1.  Declutter everything

  • Physical possessions – Simple, when manifesting money, you need to make room for it. You do this by decluttering everything. Start by doing the obvious and clear out old things that you have not used for years. Your wardrobe, your cupboards, bedroom, kitchen, lounge, the files on your computer, get rid of anything that no longer serves you. Cleanse your house and gardens. This clears clutter that has been laying in the back of your mind.
  • Mental baggage – this will be a bit trickier. So we start with the easy stuff first like removing old memberships to websites, or hobbies that no longer interest you, old friendships that don’t seem to work anymore and clients that aren’t a match to you.

2.  Forgiveness

Most people don’t want to forgive others, especially if that person has wronged them in some way. I know I struggle with this especially when that person is vicious and malicious.

However, age has taught me that forgiveness does release a burden from your soul and when you learn to forgive and realise that all forgiveness really is, is a way to set yourself free from what or who was holding you back. You win… Also, there is nothing worse having negative people living rent-free in your mind, dragging you down and making you feel horrid.

How you clear money blocks by using forgiveness are to write a huge list of every limiting money belief you’ve ever had.

Think from birth to present day and try to do this uninterrupted. Then when you feel you’ve gotten everything out, big, small, insignificant, humiliating and so on. Read through each line out loud, feeling the feelings and then say “I forgive, I love you, I’m sorry”.

You are supposed to feel a lot lighter at the end of this. It does sound like a witch’s ceremony but I do understand that confronting mental demons with love is a symbolic self-healing ritual.

3.  Practise EFT

I’ll admit, I find Emotional Freedom Technique rather bizarre, I found this tapping tutorial on YouTube – There will be some of you who will love it, and if you do – use it every single time your blocks come up. It’s a quick and easy way to break through.

I have to admit I watched the video did and said everything Margaret Lynch was doing on the video and I could not stop smiling and laughing. Whether it works or not, I do not know. I just know it made me feel good and I have not had a really good laugh for a long time…

Now I am really open to that extra $50,000 in my bank account that I was tapping my chakras for. I do deserve it and I guess I am blocking it, so I forgive myself for doing that so bring it on universe.

Take a look at the video, it’s only 7 minutes and let me know what you thought of it.

(If you are interested) – Tapping for Fifty thousand dollars – Part 2  https://youtu.be/hqoT-uUlzlE

4.  Gratitude

Giving thanks for everything in your life that you have currently, have received in the past and will receive in the future.

There is an audio by Tony Robbins called The Hour of Power and in it, he talks about the triad, which put simply is regarding the thoughts you think, the words you speak and the way you move determine your current state.

There is a powerful exercise in the audio that you listen to while you’re out on a walk. It helps you to change your mental state into a beaming positive beacon with a huge emphasis on giving gratitude and visualizing what you want for yourself.

5.  Track your money

So instead of letting yourself be on auto-pilot or worse, not paying positive attention to your money at all, make it your goal to check your bank account every day and make a note of the income only. Start a basic excel spreadsheet and track your money. Don’t worry about expenses just yet. Focus on the money coming in and document it in the spreadsheet. This is about clearing your blocks.

Get a little notebook. Write all the sales or money you find.

TRACK IT ALL!!

The point is that you will, over time, see that the abundance is increasing, the money is increasing, the things that are coming to you financially are increasing. And that’s because you’re focusing on it. You’re focusing on the way in which it comes to you, and you’re focusing on the abundance, and it makes you feel grateful.

6.  Write your goals down

There’s a power in setting your goals each day. It’s like a physical affirmation. Whatever your goal is, be it reach $5k this month, book one new client, this week or sell 5 products today. Write your goal down. It doesn’t matter where or when just make sure you do it every single day. Why? Because it gets you to focus, it reaffirms to you what you want and it energetically sets you for the day to achieve what you’ve set out to do.

7.  Join a Mastermind

Sometimes us ladies in business can find it hard to talk about our businesses and our money problems with people outside of the industry, like friends and family. That’s why it’s really great to join a mastermind or find a group of like-minded woman who you can bounce off when you do hit a money block. I can highly recommend Wealthy Affiliates as one of the best masterminds for this.

8.  Use visualization

Visualising is like the adults’ version of daydreaming, and the cool thing is that if we do it well, we manifest our ‘daydream’ into reality! Use visualisation of what you want to move past your limiting beliefs. When they creep up on you, choose in intercept the limiting thought with a more powerful thought about what you’d like to have instead.

I remember when I was very young my father told me that inside of us lives true magic and you can manifest the things you want in life by focus or be visualising what you want over and over again. It’s 100% true that what you think about, you bring about or what you focus on, grows.

I can think of many things from boyfriends to buying houses that I was obsessed about, and they did come to me eventually. I don’t know how it works but Dad was right about my inner magician or did he say vision. It was 50 years ago but I think they are one and the same.

9.  Meditate

There is abundance and money guided meditations by Gina Devee and Gabrielle Bernstein (which you can find on iTunes and download as a free podcast). I prefer to be guided. Find a guided meditation that works for you when your money fears are bubbling up to the surface.

Sometimes you might not clear the block fully on the first round.  As Robert Collier said, “Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.”

10. See a Kinesiologist

This is something I have not done. I’ve heard incredible things about going to a kinesiologist. Some people do swear by it to clearing your blocks, so definitely give it a try!

Do you have any other methods of clearing your money blocks that are different than the ones listed above? I would love to hear from you.

Cheers Coucka

 

8

Website Testing Jobs

Website Testing Jobs

I have been looking into website testing jobs for myself as an additional income stream from home. So far it’s looking good and I have joined up with a number of companies. The reason why I joined more than one company is that it takes a few months to have work coming in regularly. Also, each company determines website service testing in different ways, so naturally some methods I have found to be more enjoyable than others.

When you become a website browser tester you have the potential to earn on average between $5 and $10 per test which will take 10-20 minutes. Sometimes you can earn as much as $50. The great thing is you can do this job from your laptop or smartphone. My eyes are not so good so I prefer the home computer.

Each company will give you a set of instructions and sometimes an example video to assist in your training. This also gives you the opportunity to understand what their customers need and like.

This kind of feedback is very similar to what we do as members of Wealthy Affiliates. We are asked to give feedback on other members websites and tell them what worked for us on a personal level, if the site is user-friendly and telling in our opinion what does not work and make suggestions on how we think it could be fixed, also if there are any grammar and spelling checks that need to be made. In exchange, other Wealthy affiliate members will do the same for our websites. A sort of free “quid pro quo” and it gives us very valuable FREE information.

Before I give you the list of companies I would like to give you an overview of frequently asked questions about this job to grow your understanding of what is required. So here they are.

What does a website tester do?

As a website, or usability tester we are asked to follow a given scenario and perform very specific tasks. An example would be to find a specific product on an online store and get through the checkout process. All during this time you need to be talking about your thoughts, what did not work for you. You can give your ideas on where the website can improve. For example, you can ask for the search bar to have filters to be more specific about an item you wish to purchase. This helps site owners see problems they hadn’t seen and fix them through this website test.

What language should I speak?

You will be given tests in your native language. You will never be asked to speak in languages that you are not fluent.

Why do I need to take a qualification test?

The qualification test is to verify that as a new tester, you have a microphone and that you are capable of speaking your thoughts into the microphone. Based on this qualification test, the company will give their first rating that will determine if and how often they’ll give you paid usability tests. Customers will also rate you, and if you give great feedback, you will be given more opportunities to test.

Do testers need to buy products/services from the websites?

No. You should not put your real credit card details while performing a test. Identity Theft is a real problem and if you are asked about this, then I would suggest that you are being SCAMMED do not proceed any further and report the company for suspected fraud.

There is a government-issued booklet called the “Little black Book of Scams” click here to download a FREE PDF, or word document. The government will also post out a hard copy free of charge.

Should I use my real name and address?

Once again No, never use your real name or address, you should use fake ones while conducting a test.

What equipment do I need to be a tester?

Most websites will let you know what operating systems you will need in order to test websites. Your computer will need to have a microphone, either internal (like the one most laptops have) or external. Again the company will specify if there is a need for extra equipment.

What are screener questions?

Before you start a test, you may be asked to answer one or more screener questions in order to determine that you are the right fit for this particular test. For example, if the client needs to test a website selling children’s clothing, you may be asked whether you have little kids or not. If you fit the profile, then you will proceed to take the test, if not, another tester will get notified.

Only sincere answers to the screener questions. This information should be strictly confidential, none of your personal identification data (name, email) is revealed to the client or any other third party.

What makes a good tester?

Good testers speak as they surf the website. They express their thoughts as a verbal stream and provide useful feedback on how they expected the website to work.

What testing companies DO NOT WANT

  • Not performing the required tasks, or going off track and doing things not ask for.
  • Just reading what the site says.
  • Telling the testing company everything is OK. They would not be testing if everything was OK
  • Only saying good things. These companies need real critical analysis to improve, they are not children… However, if you’re really rapt with something, you can say so.

What testing companies DO WANT

  • Speak your thoughts as they occur on the microphone.
  • Tell the company what confuses you, and what attracts your attention.
  • Explain what and why you do something every time.
  • Propose a change that would help the website perform a required task.
  • Provide useful comments.
  • Perform the required tasks according to the test scenario.
  • Speak loudly and clearly on the microphone.
  • Perform the test in a quiet place where there is no background noise.
  • Thoroughly answer the questions in writing, at the end of the test.

A NOTE OF WARNING – I failed miserably on my first test because I did not know all this information. So I studied for a couple of days before applying for the next job. I like to blame my age and lack of confidence. I was very nervous doing the first qualifying test and I rushed and went off track and did everything wrong. Which is why I applied for a number of jobs as practice does make perfect.

Reasons why some companies will not pay for your test

  • Because you have not tried to perform all the required tasks. So read carefully what they ask for and tick off each task as you perform it.
  • Because you have not provided comments on the microphone while taking the test. Speak out your thoughts as you do the test.
  • Because the audio is not clear. Test your microphone before taking each test and make sure that you speak calmly and clearly.
  • Because there is noise in the background. Find a quiet place and keep dogs, kids family in another room while taking the test.
  • In case, you have multiple monitors, and you recorded the wrong one. – Make sure that whatever app you are given will record the one with the browser in it. Or disable multiple screens and just use your laptop screen. – This was a big mistake I made on my first application.
  • In the case of mobile testing, you have the wrong setup of the external camera. Make sure that the camera is at the right angle, focused and with the right light exposure.
  • In the case of mobile testing, you receive a call during the test. Put the phone in do not disturb mode before starting the test so that you don’t receive any calls during the test.

How do I get paid, and how much?

For each test you conduct after the initial qualification test, you get paid $5 to $10 depending on the company. You receive payment after approval usually by PayPal, or by another company specified by your employer.

What data should I give about me?

When signing up as a tester, you are asked about your basic demographic data, like age, native language, web experience. Each Company will have variations on this theme. This is done because clients want to test with different testers profiles based on their needs. None of your personal data (name, last name, email) is revealed to third parties, ever!

When will my qualification test get rated?

It can take between 7 and 15 days depending on how many people are joining up with that particular web testing site.

Okay now, onto the good stuff.

Here are 12 Companies for you to start with

  • Amazon Mechanical Turk – This company is owned by Amazon. It offers Website Tester jobs, but the pay is very low.
  • Analysia – Test takes around 15 minutes to complete. Pay is $10 per test.
  • Enroll – Get paid to test websites before they are published. Earn cash rewards.
  • Start Up Lift – Website tester jobs available immediately. You are paid $5 per test via PayPal.
  • Testing Time – Get paid to conduct user testing studies. You will earn up to $50 per test, paid via PayPal. This one was fun. I did answer 100 qualifying questions but it only took about 10 minutes. I cannot wait for them to email me with another test.
  • TryMyUI – Tests takes around 15-20 minutes to complete. Pay is $10 per test. This site had a couple of Bad reviews from testers. I have not tried to sign up for this site yet, so I cannot give a recommendation.
  • UserTesting –You are rewarded $10 cash for every 10-15 minute test you complete. No webcam is needed. – But please read all the information given, because I failed with this site because of lack of understanding. So the information above would have really help me with my join up test.
  • Whatusersdo – Pay is $8 or more via PayPal. A test takes around 15-20 minutes to complete. You must have a Mac or PC, Internet access and microphone. I did experience some trouble joining this website and I have not bothered chasing it up yet.
  • UserTest – Pay is $10.50 per test study. It’s completely free to join and only takes 5 minutes to become a qualified tester. This is a British website.
  • UserFeel – This company pays around $10 per test.
  • Userlytics – Both webcam and microphone are required to complete a test. Pay is $10 per test.
  • UTest – This company offers a variety of website testing opportunities. However, it is a very technical process and once you start reading into the information before you start it can be very intimidating. I will give a thumbs up or down recommendation on this website once I am more comfortable with it. So far it is just scary)

I hope you find something that you are looking for.

If you would like to sign up for my newsletter and I will email you of other job opportunities when they come up. It will pop up as you leave the site.

Cheers Coucka

6

HOW TO STOP MAKING BAD DECISIONS

Think about it. Do you feel tired at certain times of the day? look at your work load, roll your eyes and wish the day was over. To push on can lead to bad decisions or emotional decisions that are not thought through. If you are in business for yourself this can be costly.

DECISION FACTS

  • Did you know the average person makes 35,000 decision a day? – 227 of those decisions on food alone.
  • As your responsibility at work and at home increases, so does the choices you are faced with every day.
  • A child with no responsibilities makes on average 3000 decisions per day.
  • Simple things like what to eat, clothes to were, what to buy, what we believe, how we vote, how we spend our time, what we say and how we say it. No to mention the thousands of decisions needed each day to govern our children, all lead to “Decision fatigue.”

THE EFFECTS OF DECISION FATIGUE

According to research, there seems there is a limit to the number of good decisions people can make in a day.

I laughed when I read that Steve Jobs, Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg all are known to reduce their choice of clothing down to 2 outfits to limit the number of their decisions made in a day. It sounds crazy to me, but there is scientific evidence that supports that when you are “Decision tired” everyone is afflicted with the following symptoms, which I like to call the Zombie Effect.

  • Have a reduced capacity to make trade-off decisions

A trade-off of two choices is an advanced energy-consuming form of decision-making. Once you are mentally depleted, you become reluctant to make trade-offs or become inclined to make bad decisions. When tired, a late afternoon trip to the supermarket can cause more decision fatigue with poor people rather than the rich. Because each purchase requires more mental trade-offs in regard to their financial limitations. By the time they get to the cash register, they have less willpower to resist the impulse buys at the cash register.

  • Decision avoidance

Happens when you have reached your quota of decisions made for the day. This decision avoidance technique is subconsciously used to bypass trade-offs and often leads to a default decision which is just keeping the status quo. (In other words, no decision is made). This makes me think that politicians suffer from BIG TIME decision fatigue.

  • Impulse purchasing

Supermarkets are very aware of decision fatigue so they place candy and snacks next to the cash registers to take advantage of this. I don’t know about you but if I shop in the afternoon on an empty stomach with a list of 5 items I need. I always walk out with more than double of what was on my list, even when I cannot afford to. The extra is usually junk food or stuff I don’t really need. When I get home and have a cup of tea and a break I often think to myself “Why the Hell did I buy that? I have 6 of those in the cupboard.” But I was too tired to remember.

  • Impaired self-regulation

Decision fatigue also leads to personal and social problems such as

  • Bad debt
  • Underachievement at work or school.
  • Lack of exercise.
  • Lack of Impulse control. An example of poor impulse control is people in high office often fail in their private lives due to decision fatigue, by making disastrous decisions at home after a long day of decision-making at work.

One research study in Wikipedia found that the decisions Judges make are strongly influenced by how long it has been since their last break. “Finding that the percentage of favourable rulings drops gradually from 65% to nearly zero within each decision session, and returns abruptly to 65% after a break.”

This is kind of scary if you are innocent of a crime and the Judge is too tired to make a decision that will affect the rest of your life.

ME PERSONALLY

I did not know anything about decision fatigue, but in reflection, I have to admit that I am sharper in the morning. I work quickly and get more work done between 6 am to 12 noon. Later in the day, it is normal for me to make irrational trade-offs in the decisions I have made.

I feel exhausted just thinking about all of this. Could it be that all of these decisions we make each day effectively stop us from reaching our goals in life?

After all the research reading I have done on this subject, I am frighteningly aware of how much Decision Fatigue I am suffering from. So, perhaps those crazy people who have lists for everyday decisions are not so crazy after all. Perhaps that is why they are high achievers because they have routine decisions on paper so their choices are pre-made. Leaving them mentally sharp to make the big decisions about their business or careers.

HOW CAN WE MINIMISE DECISION FATIGUE?

By setting up a daily schedule for different tasks, we can

  • Sit down and think about the times of the day when we are mentally sharp. Then schedule all the big life-changing decisions for this time.
  • If you do not work for yourself and it is not possible for you to manage this, then develop a “Pros and Cons” list to help you to make better decisions late in the afternoon. This way you can minimise tired or emotional decisions.
  • Make a set routine for everyday activities to minimise your decisions.
  • If your work situation is in rostered shifts. Delegate decisions to the next shift manager with a list of decisions you did not have the time or the mental energy for.

If you are involved with something like accounting. I bet if you check the work done from the previous day while you were tired, you will find mistakes that normally you would not make. Unless you are self-employed or live in Spain, Power Naps or Afternoon Siestas are frowned upon. (The Spanish are so wise about this kind of thing) Work schedules will minimise bad decision-making.

I know I suffer from all the decision-making side effects listed above and I am going to make a daily schedule of mundane decisions to free up my mental exhaustion. What I used to call my “Nanna Naps” I am now going to call my incredibly important “Power Naps” to increase my decision-making ability.

Do you suffer from poor or impulsive decisions too? or am I alone in this and quite crazy?

I would love to hear what you think about this subject.