COVID-19—in all its stages—has required administrators to adapt…and then adapt again. The need to evaluate the risks and opportunities of an ever-changing situation is taxing. This is compounded by the long duration of the pandemic. There is a clear theme our team is hearing from administrators in higher education: they are tired. Decision fatigue wearies leaders in this trying time. We have three guidelines to keep decision fatigue from sapping your effectiveness.
1. Clarify your criteria. Understanding your values and priorities allows you to make informed decisions. The way you apply your priorities will be distinct in different situations, but this allows you—and your constituents—to see the principles and continuity.
2. Learn from the approaches of others. You are not the only institution grappling with these decisions. Stay abreast of what other trusted organizations are doing. Just be mindful not to get bogged down in information overload.
3. Turn to trusted advisors. Discussing a situation often brings clarity to your own line of thinking even as it invites insight from others. In addition to your peers at other institutions, know that the Hyatt-Fennell team would be happy to help by being a sounding board in this challenging season. Our team is deeply acquainted with higher education at all its levels, yet is able to bring some outside perspective. Reach out today to start the conversation.
One final word of advice as you make decisions: don’t ruminate. There may be times to reevaluate your decisions and alter your course, but identify if your thinking is strategic or stagnating. Allow an understanding of your past actions to inform your future, don’t get mired down in what-ifs. If you’d like to learn more about the symptoms, impact and prevention of the timely issues around decision fatigue, click here to a look at a new resource guide recently published by Washington State University titled: Decision Fatigue: What It Is and How to Avoid It.