The Science of Simplicity: Learn how to increase your productivity by Not choosing your outfit

Everyday, from the moment we wake up, we have a bunch of choices to make - if you’re saying to yourself that in actual fact you don’t have that many choices to make then you really should pay attention to all the decisions made over the next 24 hours. You’ll quickly realise there are more than you think and they consume a lot of time and energy. Over the course of a day we make hundreds of decisions, and if we make too many in too short a time frame we significantly reduce our decision-making ability. This in turn decreases our productivity as a result of becoming mentally exhausted from making so many irrelevant and needless choices.

How does this relate to what you wear? Think about Steve Jobs, Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg - Apple's former CEO famously wore the same turtleneck, blue jeans and New Balance sneakers everyday. Zuckerberg continue to wear his casual grey tee with jeans and even Einstein bought several versions of the same grey suit. It’s not a coincidence that so many successful individuals adopt a minimalist wardrobe. The reason is that none of these guys wanted, or want to waste brainpower on choosing an outfit each and every morning. People in leadership roles are notorious for making several important decisions everyday so they prefer to reserve their decision-making capabilities for subjects that really matter - it’s important to automate the mundane decisions so we never have to think about them again.

Another example is Obama - he only wears grey and blue suits and when questioned about this, he replied “ 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 decisions to make.” He also cited a research paper that showed how the simple act of making decisions degrades one’s ability to make further decisions.

So can we automate, delegate or eliminate the majority of the mundane decisions we make everyday so we can focus on making higher quality decisions? When we start suffering from decision fatigue , we not only avoid making decisions all together but we also can’t weigh up the trade offs between them. Besides, it also affects our self control since we lose control over things we’d normally refrain from, such as drinking alcohol or eating whatever is in front of us.

A “uniform mindset” is also an advantage for personal branding - Zuckerberg wears casual clothing because he represents the entire generation of people who don’t wear suits to work. It's about having a trademark look which makes you more memorable and distinctive. Also, if we are wearing something that we feel comfortable in, we are automatically more confident.

So, our advice here is to make life simple - we waste so much time worrying about stuff that has no relevant consequences and we don’t even notice how easy is to change this. We can all start feeling less stressed, more productive and even more fulfilled.

Choose your favourite jeans model and adopt a minimalist lifestyle - life is already complicated enough, let’s simplify it.

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