We talk about having a disposable income, but what about having disposable energy for decision-making? When it comes to spending your money, you make considered decisions for the most desirable outcomes. It’s time to adopt the same approach to how you make decisions.
You don’t want to waste your energy on irrelevant choices and be depleted when the critical decision moments come.
1. The Way Forward Is Essential Intent.
In his book titled Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Greg McKeown says “essential intent” is a clear statement that is more specific and measurable than a mission statement and at the same time more inspiring than quarterly goals.
When we boil our work down to essential intent, we make the “one decision that makes 1,000 decisions.”
Instead of rehashing the same daily decisions that drain your energy, how can you create a permanent solution?
Also read: The Art of Letting Go
2. Create A Permanent Solution For Your Health Goals.
If you are trying to lose weight or be healthier, do you find yourself engaging in a mental tug of war when choosing to order dessert? Instead, make one decision. I don’t eat dessert rather than telling yourself you’re on a diet.
Some other examples include:
· I don’t eat sugar
· I don’t drink fizzy drinks
· I don’t drink coffee after 1 pm
· I only drink four cups of coffee per day.
Do you find yourself hitting the snooze button even though you vaguely remember you were supposed to go for a walk?
Often we don’t lack motivation; we lack clarity. The solution is to set an implementation intention.
This requires setting an intention about when, where and what action will take place. Make one decision and never have to question it again: I walk every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday around my block at 7 am.
I am well aware that life is not always this simple, and things will come up unexpectedly. But let these days become the exception. Creating a permanent solution will minimise the unnecessary brain drain that results from recycling the same decisions daily.
3. Create A Permanent Solution To Work/Life Harmony.
How can you make one decision that will enable more harmony in your workdays?
· I only check my emails at 10 am, 1 pm, and 4 pm. *
· I start work at 8:30
· I finish work at 5 pm
· I don’t check emails after 1 pm on a Saturday
· I take a thirty-minute lunch break daily
*I first read about this strategy to tackle emails in Tim Ferriss’s book The 4-Hour Work Week in 2010. At the time, I thought it was a ludicrous solution because the initial thought is what if I miss something urgent?
I have learned that your inbox is like a super maze, and you get stuck in there if you take a wrong turn. Every email is another decision, and this can take your decision tank into reserve very quickly.
You need to decide when and how often you check your emails. I assure you that you will get a phone call if you were sent something urgent. Committing to checking emails at designated times in the day is a permanent solution that will free up so much mental bandwidth.
4. Create A Permanent Solution To Self-Care.
By making these decisions around your boundaries, you are creating a permanent solution to the question of when you can fit in your self-care routine.
If you have decided that you only begin work at 8:30, you have the whole morning to focus on your self-care without guilt.
If your quitting time is 5 pm, there is no excuse to spend time with your family with a clear conscience.
If you find yourself in a constant brain fog not because you are physically tired but mentally drained, consider how you can start creating more permanent solutions.