Take a Load Off (Your Brain)

Published by Mikala on

If you regularly read my blog posts, you will have heard me speak about productivity as a self-care practice and that one of my favourite productivity tools is automation.

Which leads to the question, how is automating my tasks a self-care practice? Great question!

And it all comes back to what Apple founder Steve Jobs wore everyday.

Stay with me here…

Steve Jobs famously wore the same black turtleneck, blue jeans and New Balance sneakers to work every. single. day. This quickly became his signature look as well as a part of the overall brand of Apple. 

Why did he do this? Well, Steve understood that he had a finite capacity of brainpower to make well thought out decisions each day. A minute more a day using his brain power to decide which T-shirt to wear is less brain power he would have to put towards his company.

Making decisions is tiring

This is a concept known as decision fatigue, which is a psychological condition where making a decision in the present will reduce your decision making ability in the future.

There are hundreds of decisions, if not more, that we have to make each day. Some decisions are important, but most are trivial. Unfortunately, studies have shown that as humans, our capacity to consistently make well thought out decisions is finite.

What this means is that when you use your brainpower earlier in the day deciding whether to hit snooze on your alarm, what to eat for breakfast, and what outfit to wear for the day you’ll consequently have less brain power later in the day to make decisions about your business and health. 

Questions like “should I have that piece of chocolate cake after dinner?” turn into “I’m just gonna have it cause I’m too tired to think.”

Decide ahead of time

So we use automation (including recurring tasks and checklists) to make the decisions for you. You don’t have to decide what the next step is – your past self has already made the decision for you – the task is sitting there telling you what to do next. 

So you can get through your day making fewer decisions about trivial things and have the brainpower when you need it to make important decisions for yourself and your business. 

Take the time to set up recurring tasks or paper checklists for yourself – your future self will thank you for it!