Why Mark Zuckerberg and Barack Obama wear the same clothes to work every day and you should too! (4 Step Productivity Hack)
Oh wow, are you really willing to wear the same outfit for the rest of your life? Now I’m impressed! And I’m not gonna really ask you to do that! Specially if you are a women and we all love our different dresses and colors, right? Instead, let me give you 4 steps to be more productive in your day.
First let me tell you the logic behind wearing the same outfit every day and how you can use this productivity concept to your advantage. The simple rule is that as human beings, we can only take a certain number of effective and productive decisions in our day from the time we wake up.
Everything you do from the moment you open your eyes, is counted. The decisions we take early in the morning are more productive than the ones in the evening. This is one of the reasons that we find it much easier to stick to our diet until 4 - 5 pm and our willpower is not as strong afterwards. This is called “Decision Fatigue” and exactly like our physical muscles, it gets more tired the more we use it during the day. The same way your muscles get more tired the more time you spend at the gym, your decision making muscle is exactly like that as well.
So going back to our friends, Mark Zuckerberg and Barack Obama, they don’t want to waste their time deciding on what to wear and even what to eat! As I mentioned earlier, every single decision that you make, no matter how big or small, counts towards your number of productive decisions. Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein are two other people that followed this rule and wore the same outfit all the time. These people are basically eliminating any decision making that is not productive to them. Barack Obama in an interview mentioned that "You'll see I wear only gray or blue suits … I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don't want to make decisions about what I'm eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make."
This is Mark Zuckerberg's answer when someone asked him why his outfit never changes: “I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community,” said Zuckerberg.
“I'm in this really lucky position, where I get to wake up every day and help serve more than a billion people. And I feel like I'm not doing my job if I spend any of my energy on things that are silly or frivolous about my life.”
Now imagine that we wake up in the morning, we check 30 emails from the day before, boom! 30 productive decisions gone … Now we check social media and another 40 decisions are gone by deciding whether we agree or disagree with each post, click like or say Happy Birthday to a friend … and we then check our Whatsapp to answer a couple of messages … Well, you get what I mean. We use our most productive decision making capabilities on things that don’t really matter and that don’t have any impact on our productivity during the day. We basically drain ourselves right in the beginning of the morning, by focusing on tasks that have little impact on our life.
So how can we do things differently? What can we do to ensure that we stretch out our productive decision making abilities as long as possible? Here are the 4 steps that I promised:
1) Make your most important decisions in the morning:
I want you to become more aware of the steps you take during the day as soon as you wake up. Do your best to focus on the most important things first. Dedicate the first couple of hours of your business to the decisions that matter the most. Work on your strategy, planning, proposals, product development and anything that requires your best quality decisions.
2) Limit and simplify your choices:
Another step I want you to take instead of wearing the same outfit, is to eliminate some of your unnecessary decisions. Remember the 80-20 rule when you are taking this step. I want you to go to your wardrobe after reading this article and take at least 5 - 10 items that you don’t usually wear. 80% of the time, we wear 20% of our clothes, so go through the other 80% that you don’t wear and donate them. Remember that if you haven't worn something in the past 4 months, it could become someone else's daily outfit. The more you give, the better you feel, that’s my promise to you. Apart from that, next time you go to your wardrobe, it will be much easier for you to make a decision on what to wear!
3) Set-up positive habits:
I also have another piece of good news for you, our habits are not counted in those decisions. If you do things as part of your daily routine, it doesn’t require any decision making on your part. As an example, I drink water lemon ginger and my green juice as soon as I wake up since 2014. I don’t need to think about it anymore, I don’t question whether I want to do it or not, I just do it! It’s a habit and it doesn’t require any decision making on my part. Think of the habits that you can form so you can eliminate decisions. You can put routines in place for your workout sessions, reading time, goal setting etc.
4) Plan the night before:
Another thing you can do is to put some time aside in the evenings for tasks that don't require a large amount of attention. Clean up your desk, write out a set of goals for the next day, choose what you are going to wear and even eat the night before, so you don't have to make those decisions first thing in the morning. You can save your best decisions for things that matter the most in your life.
Tomorrow morning, when you wake up, remember that you only have a limited number of quality decisions you can make, and remember to use them wisely to help you and your business grow. Be aware of the quality of your decision making during the day and focus on creating positive habits in your life.
As always, I will come live on Facebook on Thursday, October 12th at 3 pm GST/UAE to talk more about this topic and to answer your questions. Follow me on Facebook and I will see you live soon!