Make Decisions Once

You are faced with an overwhelming number of decisions every day. Lighten the load a little and conserve your energy.

“Constant decision-making is one of the reasons you don’t have energy for things that matter to you. By discovering a few opportunities to decide once and then never again, you give your brain more room to play.” — Kendra Adachi

You are faced with thousands of decisions on any given day.

Some decisions are based on habit, while others are more intentional. The former requires some energy while the latter can burn enormous reserves of it with stress as an unwelcome companion.

The more decisions and choices you can remove, the more mental energy you have for more meaningful activities.

How about deciding what to eat for each meal? Talk about stressful! You must make a decision on food many times each day. Sometimes you actually go without eating or fall victim to poor choices because it’s all too much to bear in a busy day!

I have the same breakfast at roughly the same time every day: 4 eggs, half a blueberry bagel and 5 ounces of yogurt mixed with 4 ounces of strawberries. I even give my dogs a couple small bites of egg like clockwork. They line up in the same positions every morning! It’s adorable.

I also batch cook lunches and dinners on the weekends. What’s for lunch? Just grab that container out of the fridge and heat it up! What’s for dinner? Same thing as lunch but a different meal. Sounds boring, but it makes life so much easier! Bye bye decisions. They were made once on the weekend.

The possibilities are endless. Other things you can decide once:

  • What you do every day after dinner: I relax with my wife and dogs.

  • When and where you workout: I work out the same time a day at the same place with same number of rest days in between.

  • Your morning routine: I have the exact same routine each morning straight out of bed, including breakfast and ending with writing.

You need not do this all at once. Look at one ordinary, energy-hogging decision like deciding what to eat, and do it in advance (possibly with some batching). Once that sticks, find another one to make in advance.

The important part: Decide once and don’t look back. The freedom you gain is exhilarating. The energy you save will boost creativity for more meaningful efforts!

I want to give a big shout out to Kendra Adachi and her book The Lazy Genius Way. “Decide Once” is the first principle covered in the book. Kendra provides so many useful examples of this principle in action, delivered with great mom humor. Check it out for more inspiration! I came away with some great ideas for my own life.