Eva Krockow, a lecturer at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, reveals that the average person consciously makes more than 35,000 decisions each day. Take, for instance, your decision just now to read this blog article. In a world abundant with choices, simplifying our lives emerges as a crucial avenue for enhancing productivity and managing stress. A powerful strategy in pursuit of this objective involves minimizing our daily decision-making load. By intentionally removing specific choices from our routines, we create mental space for more crucial tasks, ultimately boosting overall efficiency. Let’s explore the concept of decision reduction and its potential to pave the way for a more productive and focused life.
Every decision, regardless of its scale, takes a toll on our mental energy. This phenomenon, coined as decision fatigue, manifests when the quality of our decision-making diminishes with each choice made throughout the day. Picture your brain as a muscle – the more it operates, the more fatigued it becomes. Acknowledging this, it becomes imperative to seek ways to alleviate the cognitive load. Here are five ideas aimed at diminishing decisions to elevate both your productivity and cognition.
The Power of a Uniform
Decision fatigue often takes hold when faced with the daily task of selecting an outfit. Noteworthy figures such as Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are celebrated for embracing a simplified wardrobe, essentially donning the same attire daily. This practice not only trims decision-making time in the morning but also eliminates the stress linked to fashion choices. Explore methods to simplify your wardrobe, accessories, or hair care decisions, and witness the positive impact on your daily routine.
Plan + Prep Meals:
A Recipe for Success
Another decision-heavy aspect of daily life is food choices. Crafting a weekly meal plan and preparing some meals in advance can significantly cut down on the daily deliberation of what to eat. By streamlining this process, you not only save time but also promote healthier eating habits. After all, tacos are more delicious on a Tuesday, aren’t they?
Automate Repetitive Tasks:
Let Technology Do the Work
In our tech-driven era, there’s no necessity to manually address every repetitive task. Utilize the recurring tech feature when scheduling repetitive tasks or appointments to drastically reduce the number of decisions you need to make daily. I’ve incorporated recurring tasks into my Outlook for various aspects of life, covering everything from taking vitamins to handling monthly expense reports.
Declutter Your Virtual Space
The digital landscape can be as overwhelming as the physical one. Maintain a tidy digital space by consistently organizing files, unsubscribing from unnecessary emails, and restricting your time on social media. A simplified digital environment directly correlates with a clearer mind. I take advantage of idle moments, like waiting at the doctor’s office or standing in line at the post office, to unsubscribe and delete items, ensuring my digital space remains clutter-free.
Harnessing the Power of Habits
Developing consistent daily routines can truly be a game-changer. When certain actions become habits, they require less conscious thought. Design a morning routine that kickstarts your day without the need for multiple decisions, setting a positive tone for the hours ahead. Consider this the most crucial tip!
By strategically removing decisions from your daily life, you’re not only preserving mental energy but also creating a pathway to enhanced productivity. Streamlining your choices empowers you to focus on what truly matters, fostering a more purposeful and efficient lifestyle. Embrace the freedom that comes with decision reduction and pave the way for a more productive and fulfilling journey.
Author – Stephenie Rockwell, InteraWorks Director of Culture + Client Experience
InteraWorks is a global learning company on a mission to elevate the human experience at work. Specializing in professional development and performance enablement, we offer top-rated learning programs based on four defined conditions that must exist for individuals, and teams including Effective Edge, Best Year Yet, and the Essentials series. Our integrated learning framework and online tools generate immediate and sustainable breakthroughs in performance. Through decades of working at all levels in enterprise companies across many industries, we’ve built a reputation for helping people and organizations harness their focus, mindset, talent, and energy to produce results that matter most.
We’ve defined four conditions that must exist for an individual, team or organization to be effective within the arena of performance and development; Accountability, Focus, Alignment, and Integrity. We’ll continue to explore these and more in our blog and look forward to your engagement and interaction with us. Stay tuned as we engage the edges.