Any entrepreneur or creative type knows the daily challenges in working for yourself. One huge way to increase your efficiency is to systematize your life. Why is this?
Our brains can only handle so many decisions each day before decision fatigue occurs. When decision fatigue sets in, we’re more likely to make poor decisions. For example, we make the decision to eat pizza for dinner because we can’t think of anything else, or, we waste our brain energy deciding on all sorts of minute details, like what to wear for the day, what to eat for breakfast, what to eat for lunch. Then, when faced with a creative decision, our brains aren’t operating at ideal capacity because we’re already worn out from thinking about nothing significant.
Systematizing our lives changes all of this. Here are five great ways to free your brain space to be a more effective businessperson, creative type, or entrepreneur.
Wear a Uniform
What do Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and many other successful entrepreneurs have in common? They’re known for having a uniform. They wear exactly the same thing each day.
If it’s not possible that you have, say, 15 gray t-shirts, then there’s the option of a modified uniform. It can be as simple as having a uniform concept: jeans and t-shirts daily, something you can grab and go each day. Unless your industry is specifically fashion, and you need to devote time and attention to a daily outfit, then finding your own version of a modified uniform will serve you well.
A final option, splitting the difference between a daily uniform and selecting a new outfit each morning, is to select your outfit the night before. You could also lay out your outfits for the week in advance if you live in a climate without excessive day to day weather variances.
Plan Your Meals
Food planning isn’t just for bodybuilders and fitness junkies. When you eliminate the “what’s for lunch?” and “What’s for dinner?” decision making from your life, you’ll be shocked at how much more bandwidth you have for other time and creativity.
Start with one meal- dinner, for example. You don’t have to have the same thing every night unless you like that. Create a weekly plan: some days can be left open for eating out or pizza nights, others for leftovers. Re-evaluate it weekly until you have the right plan for yourself. Spending a bit of time on this on the front end will save time over the long run.
When you get into the right zone, inspiration flows freely and seems to come from an unlimited source. Action breeds motivation, so it’s just a matter of getting started. Though some people think that inspiration needs to come spontaneously, that’s not actually the case, and following that ideal is actually a huge limitation. Only through output can someone become great at anything. So, waiting for inspired moments limits our output.
Instead, schedule specific chunks of time when you’ll entertain your creative pursuits. If extenuating circumstances dictate that you can’t even schedule the time, then ready yourself to get to work the second time appears, whether or not you’re in the mood. A truly responsible, powerful entrepreneur/creative/business person takes responsibility for their mood in order that they can effectively create. So, put it on your calendar to maximize your production.
What you put into your brain impacts what comes out. Spending time watching the news or social media feeds causes a large spread of small bits of shallow data to enter our brains. When it comes time for our brain to synthesize the data, to form connections, there isn’t anything there.
If we’re putting good books or other forms of deeper, substantial knowledge into our brains, we can expect a higher quality of material to come out. Pay attention to what’s going in if you want to produce a better quality of information yourself.
Say Yes to Saying No
These systems won’t have much benefit if you don’t stick to them, so don’t be afraid to say no to things that impede your growth, progress, or alter your plan too much. Of course, the occasional variance is fine, but when any of these systems are followed longer term, you will see the results.
Saying no to things that don’t align with your future vision will empower you. Furthermore, being decisive will save you from the time-waste of indecision.