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As you make more decisions (especially difficult ones), and as you consider more options, you start to get mentally tired making your subsequent decisions worse and more difficult.
An excess of options will also increase your likelihood to avoid making a decision entirely.
A rule is a predetermined response to a given situation, a set action for how you’ll handle a common situation so that you don’t waste any time trying to decide between two or more small and unimportant options.
Examples: "I Never answer calls from unrecognized numbers" or "I don’t check email before 10 am, after 7 pm, or on Saturday."
If you can completely remove the need to do anything then you’re saving the greatest amount of willpower and decisiveness. There are a few ways to do this:
A checklist must be completed every time you’re going through a repeated process.
Areas where simple checklists can make your life much easier: for a list of things you need to remember each morning or for a task you repeat every day, week, or even month at work.
They remind you of what you believe you should spend your time on so that even when you’re caught up in momentary excitement you stick to your goals.
They help in dealing with big decisions.
We assume more options will make us happier, but that's not true.
By strategically decreasing the number of decisions we need to make we're making sure we actually choose something, and we can save our decisiveness for when it really counts.
You can create systems to offload decision making. The simplest type of system is a bunch of rules strung together into a chain of good decisions, where each on mandates the next.
For example: Put your workout clothes out at night so that when you wake up you immediately put them on and go running.
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