“Our life is frittered away by detail. …Simply, simplify.” Henry David Thoreau
Research from the University of Sydney shows us that we face a mind boggling 35,000 decisions every day, a number which is exhausting just thinking about it.
Can you think how much time and efficiency we lose when having to make decisions day in day out? Not only does it waste time, but it also reduces our output and causes us stress and frustration.
We’ve all faced those moments on waking that sound like “What should I wear?”, “Can I be bothered to exercise?”, “What shall I have for breakfast”, “Do I need to run to the shop on the way home?”, “Where did I put that piece of paper?”, “Is it john’s birthday soon?” and that’s before we’ve even thought about work.
Steve Jobs understood the friction caused by decision making and was known for wearing blue jeans, a black jumper and white trainers, day in day out over decades and we find this in many successful leaders. Barrack Obama is no exception and says about it, “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.”
Maybe we fear that we will become boring and robotic if we minimise the decisions in our lives? In fact, we find streamlining our decision making has the opposite impact as it provides us with;
Greater time and freedom to focus on the things that really matter.
More headspace for creativity and problem solving.
Greater opportunity to tune into our intuition and have breakthrough moments.
Increased presence to connect with the people in our lives.
More access to peak performance or flow in which we feel our best and perform at our best.
Where in your life can you reduce the friction caused by decision making? Where can you decide once and then apply it endlessly without any further decisions having to be made.
Maybe it is the clothes you wear, the food you eat, the structure of your week, the way you deal with your email or the annoying cable you trip over every time you go into your office. Start where you can see an obvious system then, as the Flow Research Collective say, “set and forget”.
Sometimes it might mean spending some money and engaging the help of an expert but we will reap the benefits in the long term.
In the busy and information rich world in which we live, streamlining decision making has a huge potential of improving not only how we feel but what we are capable of both individually and as an organisation. What might be possible if we all reduced the friction in our lives?
If you are interested in finding out more, we’d love to hear from you.
Are you suffering from decision fatigue? — Corporate Health, Workplace Wellness & Wellbeing is written by Amanda McMillan for www.wellineux.com