Some might wonder why anyone would go to the trouble of minimizing their wardrobe, simplifying wants, and doing away with the mundane. They might even ask if such notions represent an affront to personal freedom of choice.
Lack of choice, however, isn’t a problem; it’s the abundance of it that is. We’re forced to make so many decisions that we’re failing to cope.
Decision fatigue is the notion that you can only make a finite number of choices well, in any given day. With time, our brains turn to goop, leaving us paralyzed to act, and doing stupid/impulsive things. You can familiarize yourself with decision fatigue in John Tierney’s article, Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue?
If this principle holds up, we might be wise to look upon our decisions like currency. Given the limited supply, we should use them wisely. Why waste mental energy on matching socks, when we can save it for bigger things? (If you love matching socks, this is an altogether different discussion.)
What few of us like to admit, is that most choices come at the cost of others. Furthermore, little things often become much bigger once collected. It’s like that latte you pick up every day. Even though it’s only $4, by year’s end, that stacks up to around $1,500 of milk, water, and burnt beans. We’re awfully quick to dismiss small decisions as being inconsequential; looking upon them in their entirety can change this.
Every seemingly insignificant decision during your day, adds up. Meanwhile, our lives are increasingly about making one small decision after another: Read this post or the next? Save a dollar, or pick the environmentally-friendly option? Reply to the email or respond by phone? Upgrade the car, or see if it can go for another year? Deal with task, or put off until later? Tweet or post on Facebook? Order the low-fat option or indulge?
This is the stuff that results in us realizing that it’s 5:00… and we still haven’t tackled the thing we intended to get to when we arrived.
For some of us, this isn’t acceptable. We want to make things happen during our time at the office. We aren’t in love with the torrent of email that hits us. We also don’t particularly like the notion of life rushing past while we’re stuck scrambling in one spot.
As a young man, I spent time thinking about things I no longer believe important. Perhaps that’s just how life unfolds. Being with my family is incredibly important to me; meanwhile, running a business takes a lot of time, as does my interest in making things. This leaves few spare moments. As such, I want to save every moment I can for doing things I like. This requires me to make certain decisions now, in order to limit the need to make more choices later.
Sure, some will think it mad to wear only one thing. Maybe they’re right. A few of us will see it as a reasonable concession for gaining more control of our days. We’ll simplify routine tasks. We’ll find ways to silence distractions. A lucky few of us might even bow out and do something a little less perpetually frenetic.
Of course, these are personal decisions. They are also ones you should make deliberately.