Every day is filled with hundreds of decisions to make – What should I wear? What should I eat? Should I respond to emails first or voicemail? When should I work out? The list goes on and on….
The start of a new academic year is always full of craziness and I’ll find myself slipping into some major decision fatigue (it’s a real thing!) and bad habits like not getting enough sleep, checking E-mails until I go to bed, eating crap food, neglecting relationships with family and friends. I’ll feel like crap and be burnt out before I know it, which means my work, relationships and well being suffer.
I’ve been dead set on not letting these bad habits creep into my life this fall and been thinking of ways to keep the good habits consistent. This week the universe decided to send me some messages to help with this goal and the first one came while I was at the gym. Every morning I hit up the gym and bring along my iPad to watch some YouTube videos while I do cardio. Lately, I’ve been hooked on Marie Forleo’s YouTube Channel and this gem of video recently popped up as a suggested video to watch- “Decision Detox: How making less choices gives you more freedom”. Its a quick 6 minute video – watch it!
The lights turned ON and I instantly started to brainstorm what daily decisions I can eliminate or simplify to alleviate the decision fatigue I am going through. The easy thing to look at was my morning and nighttime wellness habits. What time do I wake up, what time do I go to sleep, what is my morning routine, what do I eat, what do I do for a workout, when do I sneak in my newly developed meditation routine…these were just a few of the things that popped into my head and wanted to nail done a decision for. It was a WIN-WIN – I’d eliminate decisions and improve my health and wellness. BOOM!
So off I went to figure out the ways to eliminate the little everyday life decisions (aka the non-sense and time wasters) that would make me far more productive and energized for work and life. Here are the decisions I’ve eliminated from my day so far…
- Wake-up time. I use to set a slightly different time for different days of the week. No more. I have my alarm set for 4:45am Mon-Fri no matter what time my work day starts. My iPhone enables me to set-up a schedule for my alarm so I don’t even have to take the extra step of setting my alarm each night. (Side note: I also recently started putting my phone a couple feet away from the bed so that when the alarm goes off – I have to get up to shut it off. My husband usually gives me a nice nudge too, so there is no way I am hitting snooze!)
- After rolling out of bed, I drink a full glass of cold water (so good for your body!) then make a small cup of coffee and pack my lunch for the day. By packing my food, I remove the decisions to figure out what to eat throughout the day and also eliminate the hassle of having to go out and get something.
- I am committed to working out in the morning and have a weekly training plan. Monday – Sunday I have a set workout schedule in place – now I am not wasting time thinking of what to do for a workout each morning. I get to the gym and get right into it.
- Before checking E-mails, voice mails or getting into any other work projects or issues I go grab a coffee from my favorite shop in town and review my “Do Work” list (aka my “to-do list”). I set my priorities for the day and plan out my attack. I get to my office and I jump right into what needs to be done and I am not wasting the time of trying to figure out where to start. If you don’t have a “do work” list – make one!
- Turn off work mode. I am committed to not checking E-Mails and doing work when I get home. This is a struggle for me, but I am committing to not checking E-Mail and disconnecting from work every night by 8:00pm. Once 8:00pm roles around – no more work.
I never considered that I could alleviate some of this stress by looking at my every day habits to see which daily decisions I can remove or simplify. When we remove or simplify those every day decisions, we are able to put more energy and thought into the big, important decisions – you know; like those big work or event projects, managerial decisions or major home/life decisions. I am not only committing to less decisions but to some good habits that will be make me more productive and healthy.
The second piece of this is committing to those changes – we all know what it’s like to to make a grand plan for being healthier, or starting that project you have wanted to for months (maybe even years). I’ve attempted to get into a regular yoga routine for a couple years now, wanted to give the no-sugar detox a try and wanted to start trying video blogging for Friday Fuel. I usually get started and go strong for a few days and then fall off the wagon. (Womp…womp…)
Yesterday morning I received a text from an amazing woman and Friday Fuel reader, Elise B. She sent me a message and a link to this article. Talk about perfect timing. It’s one thing to identify those daily decision battles and another to stay committed to eliminating them. It’s like any new habit or goal – we need to determine what we want, why we want it and be 100% committed to it.
In last week’s post, I shared with you all about my newly adopted meditation habits. I am loving it and want to make sure I stick with it. I need to eliminate the need to make the decision as to where and when I will do my meditation so that staying on top of the habit is second nature. I had been sneaking my meditation practice in at random days and times and my practice was becoming inconsistent. This week I was watching a video with Gabby Bernstein and she was explaining how she does her meditation first thing in the morning right in her bed. She sits up and gets right into it. This had me thinking of ways to incorporate my daily meditation, so the last couple of days I have done it first thing in the morning. I wake up, roll out of bed, drink my glass of water, make my coffee and then go into the living and do 5-10 minutes of meditation. It’s only been three days but it has been a great way to start my day and keep up with this habit.
How can you work to go on a decision detox? Start small with identifying 3-5 daily decisions that you are making and can eliminate. For me, the morning was a great place to start. Eliminating those early morning decisions gave me more time and allowed me to use that time better. All the while, I have maintained and adopted healthy habits that will fuel my day.
My message today is this – identify the every day decision that are sucking up your time and energy and commit 100% to eliminating them.
“Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.” – Kerri Russell
Chumlee’s weekly glamour shot! A face every mother could love…
Photo credit to my hubster, Andrew! Check out his Flickr page.
Embrace the day!
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Snap Chat: TinaTurner