In investigating the probation patterns of judges in 1,100 court decisions in Israel, professors Jonathan Levav of Stanford and Shai Danziger of Ben-Gurion University discovered the following:
70% | Percentage of prisoners on probation who appeared before the judges early in the morning
10% | Percentage of prisoners on probation who appeared before the judges late in the afternoon
Investigators found nothing malicious or even unusual about the behavior of the judges. According to Levav and Danziger, the judges simply showed the common pattern of "decision fatigue."
It is the same type of fatigue that routinely deforms the judgment of all of us, says John Tierney, a scientific writer of The New York Times and co-author of the book, Willpower: rediscovering the greater human strength *
"Decision fatigue helps explain why sensible people get mad at their colleagues and families, splurge clothes, buy junk food in the supermarket and can't resist to the dealer's offer to protect their new rust-proof car. No matter how rational and altruistic you try to be, you cannot make one decision after another without paying a biological price.
It is also what makes tired and hungry judges deny parole.
What causes fatigue of the decision?
Blame glucose, the simple sugar that is the source of energy for most living organisms. Glucose levels increase and decrease throughout the day, impacting anything that requires mental effort. Things like self-control and reflective decision making are influenced by these changes in glucose level.
So, when are the best times of the day to launch an important contract?
There are all kinds of activities related to the management of a small business that may be affected by the fatigue of the decision. The more you know about how it works, the better you can plan it. For example, if you know that you are going to make a presentation to potential buyers of your product, you should make sure that you do not schedule such a meeting at a time when you are probably in your area of decision fatigue.
When do I decide areas of fatigue? To find out, let's follow the judges mentioned above during the day and learn when you want to appear before a group of decision makers.
Shortly before 10:30, the judges were served a sandwich and a fruit.
20% | Possibility of obtaining a correct probation before snack time
65% | Possibility of obtaining a right probation after snack time  The hum of the snack lasted only a short period of time. You really don't want to appear in front of a panel of judges around noon when lunch is a few minutes away.
10% | Possibility of obtaining a probation before lunch
60% | Possibilities of obtaining a fair probation after lunch
Conclusion | Make your speech immediately after the decision maker (s) eat
“Good decision making is not a trait of the person, in the sense that It is always there. It is a state that fluctuates. ”
– Roy F. Baumeister, Social Psychologist
What are the best ways to deal with decision fatigue?
According to Roy F. Baumeister, co-author of Willpower: Rediscovering the greatest human force and professor at Florida State University, the people who best face decision fatigue are the ones who structure their days in a way that retains willpower. Here are some of the tactics to maximize the amount of time during the day when you can make good decisions:
- Never schedule consecutive endless meetings.
- Establish habits that eliminate the mental effort to make decisions. (A wardrobe of jeans and black turtlenecks worked for Steve Jobs.)
- Don't wait until morning to force yourself to exercise, schedule regular appointments to exercise with a friend.
- Instead of having the willpower to remain robust all day, keep it so that it is available for emergencies and important decisions.
"Even the wisest people will not make good decisions when they are not resting and their glucose is low," says Baumeister. That's why the truly wise do not restructure the company at 4 p.m. They don't make big commitments during cocktail hour. And if a decision must be made at the end of the day, they know they should not do it on an empty stomach. "The best decision makers," says Baumeister, "are the ones who know when not to trust themselves."
This first appeared on FDMania on May 11, 2016  Photos: ThinkStock
source smallbusiness .com