Too Many Choices

Simplify for success

Research supports what we’ve known for a long time about productivity and choice. The less choices we have to make, the more effective we can be in the ones that we do make. We can be more productive, and not weighed down by the stress and procrastination that decision making brings. This is exactly why the all-time greats like Zuckerberg wear the same clothes everyday. After all, 99% of things don’t matter.

Reduce the number of choices

We’ve all been in situations where we’re unable to make a decision because there are simply too many choices. Not only are they harder to make, but research shows we’re less satisfied with the decision after we’ve made it. We all have a finite amount of energy to spend on making decisions each day; purposely reducing choice gives us more energy to use on the things that really matter.

Automate for efficiency

Let’s say you’re spending time and energy deciding how much to transfer to your retirement accounts each month. It makes much more sense to choose a set amount, and have it transferred each month automatically. Live within the automated constraints, and you’ve just gained back a huge amount of time. Automate your monthly billing payments. Automate what you eat each night of the week. There are hundreds of small things we can automate in our lives to gain back time and energy. It adds up fast, and can be applied intentionally to the things that matter.

Routines

I’ll admit I’ve never been a fan of routines and structure, but I know now that they’re necessary, powerful and valuable. Creating your own routines that allow for some flexibility are best. Structure is the cousin of discipline, and they’re essential to making continual progress. This blog started as a 30 day challenge, which was successful only because of discipline and structure. Routines are actually just structure we create to ensure the automation of tasks.

Thirty Days

Try something new for the next thirty days. Define your goal, and eliminate all of the things that put distance between you and that goal. Eliminate friction, reduce the number of choices, automate what you can, and create a routine for everything you can’t automate. You can do anything for thirty days. Let me know in the comments below what decisions you’re wasting time on, and what you’re going to eliminate this month. Do this for long enough, and you’re guaranteed to experience more success.

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