Routines and Habits Can Help on Decision Making
Making decisions all day and every day is a lot of work, and it can be quite exhausting. It comes as no surprise then, that a lot of successful people who have to make a large number of important decisions, do everything they can to cut back on their choices whenever and wherever they can. The key is to use routines and habits to get things done without having to be actively involved in the decision-making process.
Let me give you an example. You have to get dressed for work every day. That can involve quite a few different decisions on your part, from how warm your clothes need to be, to what particular top and pants you should wear. Then there are shoes, accessories, etc. The list goes on and on. However, if you want to cut all those little decisions out, invent a “uniform” for yourself. For example, in the case of Steve Jobs that involved putting on a black turtleneck and jeans. For Mark Zuckerberg, it’s a grey t-shirt and a favorite hoodie. They owned multiple tops and bottoms in the same style and wore them day in and day out.
You don’t have to go this extreme, but you can simplify your wardrobe.
Find a few outfits you like and rotate through them. Or create a small capsule wardrobe where everything goes with everything else. Make it work for you. Turn getting dressed into a routine that doesn’t involve any decision making or willpower on your part.
As you go about your day, you should start to look for other opportunities to cut decisions from your life.
Come up with a rotating meal plan. Always go for the offering of the day at any restaurant you visit. Create a routine of regular tasks for the first few hours of the morning or right after lunch, leaving room for decision-making tasks during the rest of the day.
By now, you may be wondering why it is so important to cut decisions out in the first place. Yes, it’s mentally exhausting, but there’s another important reason why this is something you should try. There’s something called decision fatigue. We operate on a set number of daily decisions we can make. Once they are used up, we are no longer able to make choices, or at least able to make good ones. By cutting out decisions throughout the day, you ensure that you have plenty of decision-making abilities left for when it counts.