Make Daily Decision-Making Easier with Automation

You might have heard that Mark Zuckerberg wears the same outfit every day. Or that President Obama didn’t pick out his own clothes. And who can forget the black turtleneck, dad jeans, and white New Balances that Steve Jobs made famous? These men all have one thing in common and it has nothing to do with fashion: Automation.

Having a routine or go-to is what automation is all about. Life automation eliminates some of the extra time and energy we spend on decisions and frees up our brains to focus on more important things, like our own version of running a billion dollar company or maybe a country! Here are three ways to implement automation in your day-to-day life:

1. Know Your Go-Tos

There are certain basic decisions that we make daily. Having a default for the decisions we have to make frequently can help save time and effort, and avoid decision fatigue. You don’t have to go all Mark Zuckerberg on your wardrobe if you don’t want to, but even just having a go-to outfit for those busier-than-usual mornings can save precious minutes otherwise spent staring into the abyss of your closet.

2. Attach new behaviors to existing behaviors

Start a new behavior by “anchoring” it to an existing behavior. Let’s say you want to start meditating for a few minutes every day. Start by finding a daily routine you already have in place in the mornings or evenings that you could add meditation on to. If you shower every night before bed, meditate after you get out of the shower. Or if you carpool to work at the same time every day, anchor your meditation to that schedule. Take a system or practice that already works for you and add on.

3. Batch your tasks

Instead of living decision to decision, group decisions together by category, or “batch” them. For example, plan your workouts or meals for the week ahead. Sure it’s a lot of work at once, but it actually removes that same stress from your day-to-day and makes you more likely to follow through. Make it an enjoyable experience so you're incentivized to do it, like mapping it all out over your usual Sunday morning coffee. Hey that sounds a lot like anchoring!

 

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