The first time I read about decision fatigue, a light bulb went off above my head. I couldn’t believe I didn’t know about it before! It’s basically the idea that people tend to make worse decisions after they’ve made a lot of decisions.
So that’s why I often make bad decisions at the end of the day. That’s why if I do too many activities before sitting down to write, I often don’t have any energy left to actually write. Writing is FULL of decisions. There have been many days when I not only don’t want to write, I can’t even get up the energy to write.
I’m totally fatigued, dead dog tired, of making decisions.
With this in mind, after deciding to solider up and be a writer, I decided to also do all I could to lessen my everyday decisions.
The first thing I did was clean out my closet.
Now, truth be told, my closet is already pretty tidy, but it wasn’t organized to help me avoid decision fatigue. The clothes that I wore every day–pants and tops–were all in drawers, while the clothes that I barely wore–mostly dresses–were all hanging up.
First, I dumped out my drawers of everyday clothes and hung these clothes up.
Next, I took all my dresses off their hangers, folded them, and placed them in the drawers.
Then, I took a hard look at all my jackets and sweaters that were hanging up and asked myself if I had worn that item in the last month. If I hadn’t, I took it and hung it in the guest room closet. At the end of the month, if I still haven’t worn those items, they’re going to the Goodwill. (Two exceptions that I’m keeping are my tailored leather jacket and velvet blazer for those times when I have to dress up.)
Now, when I get dressed in the morning, it takes only a minute to pick out a top, a pair of pants, and a sweater or jacket to wear because the only things hanging on the rod are clothes that I wear all the time. It’s made my mornings a lot easier. Someday, I might even switch to wearing a uniform like art director Matilda Day. It’s tempting.
Next week I’m working on simplifying my meals, something that seems to take the most time from my day and can also causes me the most stress. Onward!
Peg Cheng is the author of The Contenders, a middle-grade novel centered on the question, can enemies become friends? She is also the founder of Prelaw Guru, a law school application consulting company, and the author of The No B.S. Guides for prelaw students.