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EP31: Reduce Your Choices

Welcome to a new series, the Minimalist Mantra of the Week, where we deliver a quick 5-minute episode with a phrase you can think on throughout the week.

This week’s mantra is: Reduce Your Choices

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Minimalist Mantra of the Week: Reduce Your Choices

Decision fatigue is a real thing.

This is how it works:

We make hundreds of decisions each and every day.

As we make those decisions, the quality of the decisions goes down.

This is why we can resist the bag of chips at lunchtime but find ourselves face down in the bag while bingeing on Netflix before bedtime.

Conversely, our culture runs on the assumption that we need more choices.

Take a trip to any grocery store, for example.

If you want to buy breakfast cereal, they’re a hundred choices.

Oh, you wanted flakes in your cereal? Would like those flakes frosted, corn, with strawberries, or with raisins. Or, would you rather just choose which cartoon character or celebrity endorsement is on the box?

Where I live in the suburban American Midwest, a ton of grocery delivery services have cropped up. And it’s no wonder! It’s too exhausting making all those choices!

We may think it’s saving us time. And it is. But, it’s also saving us the fatigue of making all those choices.

We can combat decision fatigue by reducing the number of decisions we make on a daily basis.

Think about how many decisions you make before you even get out of the house in the morning:

Which one outfit do I wear out of the hundreds of clothing items in my closet?

Which makeup should I put on today out of the dozens of products that litter my bathroom counter?

Which one outfit should I select for my kids to wear from their hundreds of clothing items?

What should I eat for breakfast out of the hundreds of food products in my pantry and fridge?

Time to pack the kids’ lunches. There are a ton more decisions to make!

Do you see where I’m going with this?

We could use up half our daily allotment of decision-making energy before our day even begins!


This is why we’re making our Mantra of the Week: Reduce Your Choices

Reducing your choices may sound boring, but for me, it’s been a game changer.

Take my mornings for example.

I selected a small amount of my clothing to wear each season. My capsule wardrobe reduces the number of choices I have to make getting dressed.

I picked one well-rounded breakfast and eat the same thing every morning.

I established a routine for the kids so they know to eat breakfast, select their clothing from the right drawer and brush their teeth. Lunches are packed the night before so they know where to reach for them in the fridge before leaving for school.

Once the kids are off to school and I sit down to work, I’ve saved my mental energy for the important tasks that face me that day.

I used to start my day with a low-level of anxiety after the panicked rush that was our school mornings. Now, my day starts off much more peacefully.

Of course, we have our off mornings where the entire system breaks down because I forgot about the class field trip. However, for the most part, the system hums along and gets everyone where they need to be.

As you go through your week, look for ways to reduce your choices so you can increase your peace of mind. I guarantee you won’t miss those all those choices you didn’t have to make.


Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash


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