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Planning Fatigue Is Real and Here's Why You're Feeling It

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/the-everyday-unconscious/202006/planning-fatigue-is-real-and-heres-why-youre-feeling-it

psychologytoday.com

Planning Fatigue Is Real and Here's Why You're Feeling It
Our minds, over centuries of evolution, have worked hard to simplify our existence by automatizing functioning. During a pandemic, we are forced to overthink again.

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When Planning Fatigue Settles In

When Planning Fatigue Settles In

Planning Fatigue appears because having to plan everything we have to do goes against how the unconscious brain has evolved.

Our minds have evolved to simplify our existence by automatizing processes and using shortcuts, to allow us to complete different actions in the same time, unconsciously. This way, it's easier for our conscious minds to focus on more pressing matters like learning new information or communicating with others, etc.

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Unconscious Actions Make Life Easier

Unconscious actions serve an evolutionary purpose. And they make our lives easier in many ways.

*When you're reading something for example, your mind is also filtering a huge amount of sensory information, scanning the environment for relevant stimuli (food starting to burn on the stove or someone screaming), and even processing internal stimuli like thoughts and emotions related to previous meetings and discussions. All of these processes occur simultaneously, some more automatically and with less conscious awareness than others. If we were to give all of them the same amount of focus and attention, they would overwhelm us.

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Automaticity

William James described in the the late 19th century how mental processes that are abundantly practiced and rehearsed escape our awareness and begin operating autonomously and without conscious intentionality.

This post-conscious automaticity that James studies ensures that with practice, we can master new skills to a degree that we can eventually execute them with efficiency without having to overthink their every aspect.

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Dealing With Planning Fatigue

It's normal to experience planning fatigue, especially during a crisis: your brain is struggling to adjust not only to a new environment, but also to a slower, much more laborious way of functioning in that environment, with less help from automaticity.

Thus, the fatigue you are experiencing reflect your mind’s efforts to adapt. But it will get easier, once you'll get used to your new setting.

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