On Simplifying Decisions

As much research and many news reports have indicated lately, willpower is a muscle that can be worn out with use, and needs time to be replenished and restored.  This is the reason that advice columnists suggest that you remove as many obstacles as possible to when trying to achieve your goals.  For example, if you plan on going to the gym in the morning, laying out your clothes the night before or even sleeping in them will make your more likely to do it.  The reason for this is that it makes the decision to go automatic.  You get up, put on your clothes and are out the door, and into routine, before you have a chance to make a decision about whether or not to go and to fuss with the details.

Tommy Angelo, a writer and poker player who unique insights and thoughts about life and the game wrote in a blog about how he owns 10 pairs of the same shoes and 100 of the same socks so that he “is done thinking about shoes and socks for a while.”  The first time I read it, I thought that it was brilliant.  Although I admit that it might be a bit extreme, and that one might need more than one color sock, it would seem that the more decisions that can be automated, the more time and energy it frees up to focus on more important things.


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