Campaign Management Process : Stop Decision Fatigue

by The Campaign Workshop

decision fatigue

Campaign Management Style -  Avoid Decision Fatigue 

Running for office, campaign management, and working on campaigns for that matter, are really about making quick, informed decisions and a lot of them. Particularly at the beginning, there are a lot of things to decide on right away in your campaign management process: what office, what party, who to hire, who to target, what medium, who to call for money, how much to ask for, etc. The whole process can get away from you and turn into a paralyzing rumination if you’re not careful.

We know from research and anecdotes (and articles in The New York Times) that decision fatigue is real, and can happen to anyone. It’s important then to plot out a strategy for making decisions in your overall campaign management plan.

Bust out your favorite online calendar and mark all the dates things are due (filing for office, fundraising, etc), dates of events (fundraisers, canvasses, neighborhood cookouts, etc) and milestone markers (100 days out, public debates etc). This calendar is a living, breathing document separate from the candidate’s schedule, though some of these things will bleed over. Once you get it all in front of you, you will see just how tight of a timeline you’re on.  After breathing into a paper bag for a couple of minutes, take a couple of deep breaths and start to add in decision-making dates like: hire photographer, and approve official campaign headshot, hire campaign manager, choose voterfile software, etc. Not only will you begin to back out the calendar a bit, you will begin to see that though your calendar is full, it actually reflects what is going on and what is needed going forward. As your team grows, share the calendar with them and have them help you manage the campaign management decision-making process. Deputize a couple of trusted members of your team to make smaller decisions, leaving the bigger ones to you.

Sharing the sign off process for campaign management may feel scary, and may not be right for all decisions, but will make the quality of your choices better overall. How do you avoid decision fatigue in your campaign management structure?