Focus On Major Decisions In Leadership
by Paula Morand
I once knew a real estate agent who purchased clothes only if they were in black, white or red.
She always looked stunning and beautifully coordinated. Her work attire was impeccable, and so were her casual clothes. Even her workout outfits were cute.
Still, I thought it was a little limiting, though she was the most successful agent in town. I mentioned it to a friend and he told me about his boss who wore only navy suits (made to measure and ordered two at a time) and only white shirts. He was a political figure and explained that he had to have fresh shirts and suits in both his home and office, and he didn’t want to worry about what went with what.
Why do people who have the resources to have a full wardrobe of clothes in many colors limit themselves so severely?
Think about the late Steve Jobs, for example. He showed up for work every day dressed in his non-variable uniform of jeans, a black turtleneck and New Balance sneakers.
Powerful leaders who need to stay mentally sharp to make major decisions in their role often live by a super-simplified routine. They get up at the same time each day without an alarm clock because their body knows the routine, they work out at the same time, they wear the same clothes, eat the same breakfast and lunch, and have a limited variation of acceptable suppers.
What these leaders know that most others don’t is that every time you have to make a decision, no matter how small or insignificant, you have to employ your brain and it saps a little of your energy.
“If you make too many decisions in too short a time frame, you can significantly reduce your decision-making ability,” writes Mitchell Harper, author of SANE: How to build your business rapidly without going insane.
The result, he suggests, is “decision fatigue.”
We have all experienced that feeling. Have you ever gone holiday shopping with a long list and secured several presents, and then suddenly realized you cannot decide about anything anymore and are completely exhausted? That is decision fatigue.
When you are a leader, part of your job is making informed decisions. If you expend too much information in your daily life routine, or in every mundane aspect of the corporate business, you run the risk of finding your decision-making ability deteriorating at a certain part of the day.
How can you be your best decision-maker as a leader?
Start by removing the mental clutter that forces you to waste your energy on endless small decisions. Plan out your work and cover the main bases so that you know precisely what you are doing, or what has been delegated to someone else.
Minimize your wardrobe. If you are not working in the fashion industry or your career is not to delight the paparazzi, it is okay if you have five or six great outfits and you alternate them. Minimize the number of shoes and accessories needed as well; you know you have favourites that you always reach for, so clear the other ones out of sight so they can be examined only for non-routine occasions.
Minimize your menu to a well-balanced diet perhaps with rotating meals over a three week period. Spend some time determining what you enjoy for breakfast and lunch routinely, and work family favourites into the schedule. It doesn’t mean you can’t experiment, but confine it to days off.
Once your menu is simplified, your grocery list will be 95 percent automated, so you can save additional time by shopping online for some or all of your essential goods.
Experts suggest that if you think about it, you can automate up to 80 percent of your routine so that what you need falls into place without decision-making.
What can you do with the time and energy saved? You can make better-decisions on the big matters in work and in life. You will also have the energy to think more, read more, and consider more and that may excite your life to a degree far more inspiring than figuring out if you will have spaghetti or pork chops tonight.
Paula Morand is a leadership building, revenue boosting, strategy expanding keynote speaker, author and visionary. This dreaming big and being bold leadership expert and brand strategist brings her vibrant energy, humor and wisdom to ignite individuals, organizations and communities to lead change, growth and impact in a more bold fashion.
25 years, 27,000 clients, 34 countries, 15 books, former radio personality, 11x award winning entrepreneur and humorous emcee.
Check out Paula’s bestselling books on Amazon: “Bold Courage: How Owning Your Awesome Changes Everything”, “Dreaming BIG and Being BOLD: Inspiring stories from Trailblazers, Visionaries and Change Makers” book series; and her newest release“Bold Vision: A Leader’s Playbook for Managing Growth”.
For speaking inquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll-free 1-888-502-6317.