Hi friends. Welcome to this week’s edition of Soul Food.
Did you know that billionaire, Richard Branson, wears the same brand of jeans and a white shirt every day because it simplifies his packing when traveling?
Even former American president Barack Obama wears only grey and blue suits. Why? To reduce decisions about what to wear or eat, so he has the energy to focus on the other important decisions he faces every day.
In his excellent book No-Fail Habits, Michael Hyatt says that one of the keys to improved effectiveness is “implementing a system of strong habits that structure your day, allowing you to automate your most important activities and make you more productive in less time.”
He goes on to say that, “By making some decisions a matter of routine, you free yourself to focus on your highest priorities without neglecting other responsibilities.”
Self-automation is the process of putting some of your daily decisions and actions on autopilot, so they happen without conscious thought. This allows you to manage important details of your life while freeing mental headspace to focus on other priorities”
In many ways, each day is like a new flight. As the pilot of your own life, if you can automate some of your basic daily routines, it will free you to focus on what is most important with less effort. By learning to make fewer decisions every day, you can actually accomplish much more while doing less.
Each of us has at least four daily rituals or routines – (1) our morning routine, (2) our work start-up routine, (3) our work shut-down routine, and (4) our evening routine.
Take the time to notice what you are already doing.
- What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? What do you do after that?
- What do you do first when you start work? Then what? Then what?
- What do you do once you’ve decided to stop working for the day? Then what?
- What’s the last thing you do before you fall asleep? What comes before that? And before that?
Once you’ve observed what you are already doing, intentionally re-engineer these routines so they work for you.
Willpower only works to a certain point when it comes to change. In fact, most of us experience ‘decision fatigue’ which gradually saps our energy as a day unfolds. Establishing automated routines saves us from having to make too many decisions each day.
One of the reasons we have so many creative ideas in the shower is partly because it is a self-automated environment. We turn the water on, shampoo our hair, and wash – without hardly thinking about it. That frees your brain up to think about something else.
Let’s summarise our main points:
- You can improve your daily effectiveness by automating your most important activities.
- Each of us has at least four daily rituals or routines – our morning routine, our work start-up routine, our work shut-down routine, and our evening routine. Take the time to identify what works and what doesn’t, then re-engineer them for your benefit.
- Establishing helpful automated routines saves us from having to make too many decisions each day.
That’s all for today. See you next week.
You can watch a video of this episode on the Soul Food with Mark Conner YouTube channel.