Saturday, December 6, 2014

Decision Fatigue

Somewhere along the line of my late night internet trawling, I came across an article about why Mark Zuckerberg wears the same outfit every day.

He makes it clear that he wants to "make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve the community," and it's a trend that is seen frequently in successful people. Steve Jobs sported his trademark black turtleneck until the day he died. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings demonstrated the advantages of making few decisions in an interview with the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

It's a phenomenon known as "decision fatigue." Though the psychology of it is extremely complex, the basic gist is that making decisions, no matter how small, saps willpower and choice making abilities. Publications such as the New York Times and Slate Magazine have all written articles about it, and it has many implications throughout daily life.

A common problem I face in the morning is deciding what to wear. For some reason it stresses me out to no end, when nothing seems right for the weather, or looks frumpy. I've noticed that I'm happiest throughout the day when I can just grab one of three v-neck tees that I own and throw it on without a second thought.

Eventually, when I'm no longer around so many people that see me every day, or not in a job that requires strict business dress, I want to try this theory out for myself. I plan to buy fifteen of the same v-neck tees from De Masqe in a few different colors, plus one of those oversized cozy all-purpose thrift store jackets. I also want five-ish pairs of plain pants, with at least one dark wash and one light wash soft jeggings in the mix. These are the very basics, and it's really all I need. The quantity is so I can still wash a full load, or have backup in case some get damaged. I can vary up the shoes, because shoe choice actually affects body heat a lot (think flip flops vs. Uggs on the same outfit). Hopefully, with a plainer wardrobe, I won't have as much stress about picking out clothes every morning. It will also probably be a lot cheaper, so I can spend more on cool accessories, and be able to splurge more on special occasion clothing. ◊

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