The deteriorating quality of decisions

In decision making and psychology, decision fatigue refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after a long session of decision making. It is now understood as one of the causes of irrational trade-offs in decision making. Decision fatigue may also lead to consumers making poor choices with their purchases.”

Wikipedia, Decision fatigue


the deteriorating quality of decisions

Yeah, I get the “Einstein uniform” thing, the Steve Jobs cosplay, wearing the same thing every day so you don’t have to think about it. I don’t think those decisions need to be austere, and I don’t think it ought to be one thing forever.

Katie and I will often have the same thing for lunch all week long. I can prep on Sunday, and it saves me time and mental energy on weekedays. That doesn’t mean we need to eat the same thing every day, every week, for eternity. You can switch it up from week to week.

I meal plan before grocery trips, and execute them like commando raids. Get in, get out, no one gets hurt. Stick to the list and don’t browse. No distractions, no decision fatigue trying to sort out all of the possibilities. Stick. To. The. List.

The same goes for clothes. It doesn’t have to be black turtlenecks all the way down. Lay out your clothes, or pick your outfits, on the weekend. Monday I’m wearing this, Tuesday I’m wearing that, and so on. And for God’s sake, remember that color and patterns exist and they’re not a bad thing (says the guy with a black-and-white website, I know, I know).

Get rid of the decisions you don’t need to make, so you have the headspace to focus on the important decision that you do. Less stuff requires less maintenance, less cleaning, less of your attention. Spare yourself the distraction, if nothing else.

This is also why I keep a bullet journal. I know what needs to be done in general, over the long term. More importantly, I know what needs to be done today. I do not need to make decisions about those other things right now. Their time will come. I can focus on what’s important at this moment.

See also: multitasking is bullshit.

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