The Benefits of Living Simply to Fight Decision Fatigue
Busy marketers make hundreds of decisions every day that impact their companies. The pressure to make the best possible decisions is very real, which is why senior executives implement mental tools to avoid what psychologists call decision fatigue.
Our culture is so overwhelmed with day-to-day choices. Seemingly inconsequential questions like "What am I going to eat for breakfast?" or "Which route should I take to drive to the office today?" rely on willpower, which is too important of a commodity to waste on easy decisions.
Studies have shown that successful people tend to wear the same thing every day to avoid this unnecessary decision every morning. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg borrowed this philosophy from President Obama (gray/blue suits) and Steve Jobs (jeans and black turtlenecks) and now wears a gray shirt, hoodie, and jeans every single day.
Last year, I read Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project in which she argues that omitting insignificant choices from our daily routines can make us happier. As a writer, Rubin spent most of her days in black yoga pants and white V-neck shirts, thus, her personal happiness journey (which started with organizing her closet) is what motivated her to buy more of her daily garb, and considerably pare down the rest of her wardrobe.
Rubin then wrote a follow-up book called Better Than Before, which builds on the notion that we should be allocating our willpower for more important things – like passing on a frivolous purchase to save money, or declining a second slice of cake to watch your diet – because our health and financial security are far more critical than what we wear.
They say that living simply makes us more productive and less likely to sweat the small stuff, because life is already complicated enough as it is, so why add more stress?
Think about all the decisions you, as a marketer, make every single day, and challenge yourself to cut them in half by automating certain aspects of your day. If you already have a signature "look" or a staple breakfast or any other device you use to help save your brain power for higher priority items, tell us about it in the comments section!