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You need to decide your decisions

If there is something that I learned from my daily struggle with procrastination, is that every day you just have a limited amount of decisions. Every day, you can only do 5, 8, maybe 10 meaningfully decisions. After that you will start doing mistakes, get tired and, in general, doing wrong.

What can be surprising of this, is that doesn’t matter how important the decision is. Look at a traditional day: you wake up and you need to decide what to eat for breakfast, what clothes to wear, if it is better to go to work using the car or public transportation. You have literally just waked up and you have already depleted the big part of you decision pool for the day. And none of that decision is meaningful for your work, your career, your family, your affections.

Even if this may not be an issue in general, if you are in a stressful period of your life, all this tiny decisions are a big deal. And if you are a serial procrastinator like me, this is a bigger deal! I often catch myself spending hours of my day deciding unimportant things. So, here is the solution: you have to learn to decide your decisions. This means that you have to allocate a time in your day in which you “decide all the small decisions” you will make the next day.

About that, I don’t want do useless list of actions like the ones in productivity focused blogs. I don’t want to spend word and words telling you “do this” and “do that”. I have a high regards for you. You know better than me what is your perfect work flow.

We don’t really need this kind of things… Don’t we?
Figure 1. We don’t really need this kind of things… Don’t we?

However, the tip here is simple. Instead of wasting on this unimportant stuff all your best decisions skills, the one that you have in the morning, when you are rested and full of energy (I hope), invest your weak choice capability. In simple terms, spend your last 5 minutes before bed, when you are tired for everything else, to decide on all the little things you will face the day after.

Decide your breakfast, lunch, decide your dinner, put clothes you will wear on a chair, decide all the little things. The next day, while you will move around the house in zombie-mode drinking coffee or what else, you can simply obey to your wiser yesterday-self. All the tiny, useless stuff are already decided and you can focus on what really matters: the important decisions.

PS: Bonus point if you can decide things for the week (for instance your weekly menu). Unfortunately, I have never able to do that! Too much discipline for Dave!

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