“It is not the tragedies that kill us, it is the messes” – Dorothy Parker
As you probably know by now I rather like listening to Tony Robbins when I need an extra boost to my motivation! Something I have heard him discuss multiple times is the idea of decision fatigue. What is decision fatigue? This is fatigue that you get from the large amount of decisions that you have to make on a daily basis just to get through the day. Seemingly simple decisions like what to eat for breakfast use up valuable effort and brain space which we need to try and keep free for higher level creative thinking, focus and flow.
We might think that the decision of what to eat for breakfast holds little importance but throughout the day we all have to make so much more seemingly small decisions. Over time every small decision that you make each day starts to hold weight. All of the little things that you do each day determine your future! How healthy your body is, whether you will age in a positive way, whether you will be fulfilled in your work, and whether you will have a good relationship with your spouse and children. It all adds up!!
Take the time to implement routines and rituals into our day that nurture and sustain you. Where possible make it easier on yourself and reduce any decision-making time where possible. When you work to control your internal environment and set it up so that it nourishes you and supports you best you are better equipped and have more flexibility and reserves to deal with an out of control external environment.
Here are ten ways that you can reduce decision fatigue in your day:
1. Start the night before: Lay out your gear! Absolutely everything that you need for your morning routine. Workout clothes, day clothes, pack up your computer or photography gear if you plan to head out of the house to work.
2. Get up at the same time!! Put your phone across the room and get up at the first alarm. Setting multiple alarms is confusing and it is delaying the decision to get up and start your day. Pick a time and stick to it. Lay out all of your workout clothes next to your phone/alarm so the decision to exercise is made even easier!
3. Create a daily routine: Adults like most children thrive on structure and routine. Being creative definitely requires more flexibility but having a routine in place enables you to meet all of your own needs and also get all of your work done. Write down everything that you need to do each day and then schedule time blocks on your calendar for each task. Having a flexible routine in place can give you greater access to getting into that creative space or enable you to plan more creative time into your week. Here is a peek at some of the daily routines of highly creative geniuses. Super interesting!
4. Plan your Exercise: We all know that we should be doing it every day! So plan it in! Pick something and schedule it on your calendar. The majority of the most productive and successful people in the world make exercise a priority in their day and do some form of exercise. Exercise helps to sharpen mental alertness and gives us more energy to achieve more in our day.
5. Meditate: Clear your brain each day of those recurring thoughts that go around and around in your head. Just ten minutes a day can make such a positive impact on your mental clarity and focus. I am currently using Headspace and I am finding that it is really helping to teach me to meditate.
6. Delegate: Get everyone else on board with your plan and gather support. Teach your children if you have them to do things for themselves. Delegate tasks where possible so that the decision making is shared with others.
7. Plan your work: Have a rough plan in place of what work you wish to complete each day. Keep it simple! Pick three most important tasks each day and work on them until completed. Take regular breaks for improved focus and efficiency and track how long each task takes you so that you are better able to plan out your work and set goals in the future. I currently plan my work day using the Pomodoro technique. Here is a great online tracking tool to help plan out your day’s work.
8. Meal prep: Plan out dinners a week or fortnight in advance and make a shopping list. Schedule in days for meal prepping. Since I recently went Vegan I am finding that I have to do way more meal prep than before. It’s good because I am eating a lot more whole food but it is definitely more time consuming. You have to be organised to eat healthily. Meal prepping is key!!
9. Write it all down: Get everything out of your head and write it all down. Make a habit of writing a daily to-do list, ideally the night before. I really love to do it at night because then I can relax and go to sleep easily because I know that I won’t forget anything!
10. Pick-up regularly: Clear space, clear mind 😉 Make it a priority each day to spend a small amount of time cleaning and decluttering your living space. Doing a little bit every day will ensure that your housework does not build up and become overwhelming. I keep a list where I have a few things that I do on each day of the week to keep it easy.
(Photo: Dawid ZawiÅ‚a)