What’s for lunch?
Should we go swimming this morning or play at home?
Red or green? Or blue or purple?
Decisions, big and small, can steal focus from your tasks and work.
I’ve noticed that the more routine we have, even in our loose schedule, the more we get done. When I know that I always have to leave the house at 9:30am to get to our Friday class, I get a few more tasks done in the morning. The laundry is put away, the drying racks folded down and put out of sight for the weekend and the breakfast dishes dealt with before we leave.
Penelope Trunk talked about the power of making fewer decisions in this post 4 Secrets of focused people. This quote she used from President Obama illustrates how having fewer decisions helps him focus.
“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. You need to focus your decision-making energy. You need to routinize yourself. You can’t be going through the day distracted by trivia.” – President Obama in this Vanity Fair article
Okay, I’m not president of the United States of America but the logic makes sense for my life too.
Having fewer decisions each day helps me get bigger things done. Meal planning gives me more focus for a dreaded task like making calls to our Canadian bank (I hate making phone calls!). Having a smaller wardrobe makes dressing for the day easy and gives me more focus and energy for things like helping my son create a bridge for his train table or getting a quick 1000 words out on my book in the early morning.
If you have a lot of opportunity for decisions in your life, try and eliminate some.
I caught a few of Design Mom’s back to school series on fall wardrobes for her kids. I’ll say her kids are far more fashionable than my son (err.. probably me too) but I loved seeing that they have fairly small wardrobes.
As a mother to six children I would guess that Gabriel benefits in many ways from the kids having smaller wardrobes. Fewer little people asking for help in the morning and it probably reduces the amount of laundry on the floor in bedrooms. Easier to get everyone clothed and out the door in the morning. More time for Gabriel’s writing and business.
Really like the idea of having photos of outfits for kids and adults. Helps you know what’s being used in your wardrobe and is a quick reference for getting dressed in the morning.
Eliminating small decisions gives you focus for the big ones.
I still haven’t bought anything for this new baby.
In all honesty I have gone by a shop window or two, or seen something online, and thought about buying something cute and oh so small. But I haven’t pulled the trigger. I have lots of time for those little things.
What I don’t have a lot of time for is making decisions about the birth, getting our son prepared and preparing myself. I went to my first prenatal yoga class on the weekend and loved it. It was nice to do something for just me and the new baby.
This second pregnancy has flown by and I often forget I’m pregnant, forget that we’ll have a new baby here in a few months and forget that I’ll be, hopefully, laboring again and nursing again. Those are some big tasks.
Instead of thinking about onesies and if we need a double stroller I’m focusing on the bigger pieces like birth, my health and preparing our family.
Have you eliminated some small or routine decisions in your life for more focus?