How to Free Up Mental RAM

The best way to simplify your life is to automate decision-making. If you’re going through your day feeling fuzzy, like your mind is full of noise or static, it’s time to eliminate some choices.

A simple heuristic to make significant progress in any area of your life: spend more time thinking about important decisions and less time thinking about unimportant ones. If you spend more than 30 seconds thinking about questions like “What am I going to wear?” or “What am I going to eat?” every single day, something isn’t right.

You’ll save yourself a lot of time and mental energy if you make a list of 5-10 clothing combinations that you can pull out of your closet at any given moment. If something is in the laundry basket, no problem, you have other combos ready. Obama was a master at this.

The same thing goes for food. Use the same 3-7 recipes for lunch/dinner every week. Yeah, I know it’s boring, you can change those over time or treat yourself during the weekend. 😛 The point is to eliminate trivial decisions from your day-to-day life so you can focus on the big stuff.

Figure out tomorrow’s to-do list before going to bed, so you won’t waste time thinking “What should I do today?” For example, I write tomorrow’s most important work-related tasks on a post-it and stick it on my desk when I go home. I also have a list of articles in my smartphone that I want to read on the commute to/from work. I eat the same breakfast every day.

What about you? In what areas are you a victim of decision fatigue? How can you put those choices on autopilot? 🙂


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