Our daily lives are made up of the decisions we make. From picking which clothes to wear, to choosing which meal to eat, decision-making can be an exhaustive process especially when it takes up more time than we intended.
For many of us, decision-making is not only about the time it takes to make a decision, but it is also concerned with weighing results and consequences.
But not all of us are willing to waste time and energy on making mundane decisions. Instead, we want to reserve that time and energy on bigger, life-changing decisions. You know, the things that matter most.
What is Decision Fatigue?
When we make decisions all day long, we experience a certain type of stress that leads us to bypass decisions by giving quick, and unrealized answers to mundane questions. This type of stress is a symptom referred to by social psychologist, Dr. Roy F. Baumeister as “Decision Fatigue”.
Decision Fatigue is experienced when a person has no choice but to make too many decisions – small or big – over a certain period, or for some, in a course of just one day. Due to this, any entrepreneurs, especially those in executive positions, experience and suffer from a deteriorating quality of decisions made.
Avoiding Decision Fatigue by Jobs, Zuckerberg, and Obama
Fortunately, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Barrack Obama – three of the most influential and most powerful people on the planet – have their own ways of avoiding decision fatigue. And it all starts with opting for a simple everyday outfit.
Did you know that Zuckerberg usually wears a gray t-shirt, basically, every day? He got this idea after taking a page in Steve Jobs’ book and noticed that he wore the same outfit each day. He added that he’d rather use his mental capacity to make decisions on how best to serve billions rather than focusing on the small and mundane decisions.
Jobs’ signature turtleneck has an interesting history, too. After learning that Sony allowed their employees to wear uniforms to foster bonding, he connected with Issey Miyake, the uniform designer of Sony, and asked him to design a vest for Apple employees.
However, Apple’s employees hated the idea. So instead, Jobs asked Miyake to design a uniform for him which conveys his simplicity and can be worn every day. In fact, he received enough black turtlenecks to last him the rest of his life.
In similar fashion, Obama will only wear either a gray or blue suit when performing his daily duties. In an interview by Vanity Fair in 2012, Obama said, “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing, because I have too many other decisions to make.”
By dedicating their mental capacity and energy in making essential decisions for the interests of many, they were not only able to avoid suffering from decision fatigue, they were also able to shift their focus on what truly is important.
How to Avoid Decision Fatigue
There are still many other ways to avoid decision fatigue. On top of focusing only on important decisions, here are other ways to do it:
(a) Studies have found that people often make the best and most fair decisions early in the day. Have someone like the Modern Concierge to make the calls, coordinate the details, and keep you posted in the morning and also get rid of meetings or any commitments in the afternoon and evening. Plan and prepare for decisions with the personal concierge while your mental capacity is at peak performance in the morning.
(b) Have daily support from someone who truly knows you–from your daily appointment and dietary needs to your spouse’s birthday–a personal assistant will be of great help in freeing up your time and enhancing your sense of well-being.
(c) When it comes to dressing up for special occasions, you can plan your outfits on the day before the event, to prevent any rush and pressured choices. (d) Keep yourself healthy by sticking to a realistic lifestyle that suits your needs. Go to the gym every once in a while. Take a rest and go on vacation. And keep your glucose levels up to make sure your brain is always charged. (e) Finally, do not rush. Stay patient and rational on the decisions you make. Never make decisions on an impulse.
It’s up to you if you still want to trouble yourself about mundane choices, or just focus on the more important decisions in your life. Just make your choice.