The Time and Energy-Saving Power of Routines

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Do you ever feel like your mental energy is running low? It’s time to think critically or make a serious decision, and your mind is stuck in neutral. You just don’t feel sharp.

Usually it hits late afternoon or close to your bedtime. Why is this happening?

It’s this thing called decision fatigue. You can probably figure what it is just by its name.

Simply, the more decisions we make, the less energy we have to make more decisions. Over the course of a day, naturally, decision fatigue builds up. Think how you’d have less energy on mile 19 of a run than you had on mile 3.

This is how we end up making bad choices, especially in eating, late in the day or at the end of long, taxing days.

Routines help ease decision fatigue.

A routine is your set way of doing things, reducing the number of decisions you’re making daily. Thus you’re left with more energy to make decisions that aren’t everyday things.

Immediately create routines for the following:

  1. The first two hours of your day. This is when most of us are headed to the gym or work or school or some combination. It’s (almost) every day, so create a routine and stop wasting decision energy on something you’re going to do anyway.
  2. How you handle work or studying. Do you have certain times per day to check email (and times to not check)?
  3. Eating. Some people eat the same meals all the time. I don’t, but I do have routines for when I eat and how much. This saves a lot of decision-making energy.
  4. Clothing. Even if you don’t wear the same thing daily like Steve Jobs, you can have a routine for choosing and laying out tomorrow’s outfit.

Routines are the seeds of discipline. Create enough of them – with ample space for, you know, living – and watch your mental energy shoot up when you really need it. [shareable cite=”@DreAllDay”]Routines are the seeds of discipline.[/shareable]

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