There’s a reason that Steve Jobs only wore a black turtleneck and jeans. He knew that when he got up in the morning, he wouldn’t have to spend time thinking about what he was going to wear. That space in his brain was needed for things that mattered to him, and clothes were not something that mattered to the man who ran Apple. While you can’t solve all decision-making with black turtlenecks and jeans, there are a few simple ways you can make sure you never suffer from decision fatigue again.
Think about what a standard day looks like for you. What time do you wake up? Do you take the dog outside, then make a pot of coffee? Are you finalizing a project before handing it to your boss? Do you have meetings at work that happen every Thursday? Or the most dreaded question: what’s for dinner? With a million decisions to make every day, it’s easy to feel completely and utterly overwhelmed. There is a reason that decision fatigue is a real thing.
Establish Routines For Household Chores.
Find ways you can automate chores so you don’t have to wonder or stress when you’ll do them.
First, ask yourself this: is there anything in your day that makes your life easier? Is there something you do that takes the guesswork out of things? What can you do to move through life with less friction and a little less stress?
For example, maybe every Tuesday is going to be “Taco Tuesday” because your family absolutely loves tacos. That means you’re going to pull out the ground turkey from the freezer in the morning to thaw. Likewise, you may have to put tomatoes and onions on your grocery list each week so you’ll have them. Your family won’t be asking “what’s for dinner?” when you’re in the middle of a meeting. You know one thing that is coming and you’re prepared for it.
That’s one thing you have nailed down in your day. Having a “Taco Tuesday” habit takes all of the guesswork out of dinner for that day. Furthermore, it eliminates the emotional freakout of needing to decide what’s for dinner on Tuesdays. You may not realize how much emotion was tied up in that one single choice.
Decide Who Does What.
Get your whole family involved by dedicating a few chores per week to each person. This way, the entire chore list doesn’t fall on your shoulders alone.
In fact, the more decisions that you can decide ahead of time, the more calm you can bring back to your days.
You can start looking at your habits and see which ones you can batch into routines that serve you well. Habits are merely the way you do things, whereas routine is a conscious procedure repeated over and over again. Habits are involuntary, routines are a choice.
Dividing up responsibilities will help keep the pressure and stress off of one single person and make it easier to maintain the household.
First, make a list of your most common household chores: dishes, laundry, vacuuming, dusting, everything that makes your world run properly. Next, assign each chore to each member of the family and designate the day of the week each chore will be performed. Finally, write these down or use sticky notes and post them in an area that everyone can see and easily be reminded of.
For instance, maybe you decide to run the vacuum through the house every Sunday morning, or the kids take care of the dishes on Fridays. Creating these routines will serve you well because they add time and calm back into your days and make room for the people and things that truly matters.
Create Routines For Fun.
Not every routine has to revolve around work. Make sure your family has time for a Sunday afternoon game or a weekly walk around the neighborhood. These routines breathe life back into your family.
Think about a habit that you’re not so great at, or absolutely can’t stand, and let’s make it a little more tolerable. Let’s see if you can turn it into a good habit.
Maybe you hate sorting the mail. You watch it pile up and you feel your anxiety rising higher and higher as you keep putting it off. You vow to tackle it tomorrow, but then tomorrow comes and you put it all off again because you don’t have time. Before you know it, all the ‘tomorrows’ continue to add up, just like your pile of mail and your pile of anxiety. Yay.
What if you decided that Sundays are the days that you sort the mail? Mark off 15 minutes each week on your calendar each week to sort the mail. Turn on your favorite playlist or podcast while you sorted the mail. Reward yourself for doing this task, like putting on your favorite mud mask or watching an episode of your favorite Netflix show. You would be a lot more likely to sort the mail if you took this approach.
Routines and habits don’t have to be hard. Making simple choices ahead of time can offer you the freedom, and more importantly breathing room, you’ve been searching for.