It’s 2013 and I’ve just now discovered the amazing-ness of podcasts. Wes always listens to them when we travel home, and suggested I might enjoy listening to them, too. My podcast playlist is limited in scope, with just two regulars: the Joy the Baker Podcast and Grace Bonney’s After the Jump. I love both for different reasons, but today’s post is all about After the Jump.
I particularly love when After the Jump tackles the topic of work/life balance. This fall, Grace and her fellow Design*Sponge extraordinaires sat down to discuss eliminating decision fatigue through the concept of uniforming.
I absolutely love this concept. More importantly, I’m happy to know that other people think about how to micromanage their life. The idea is this: Why not take the time to evaluate your basic, daily decisions and figure out a way to streamline them in order to free up as much time as possible for creative ventures?
You can listen to the podcast here, and read below how I’ve begun implementing the concept of uniforming in various levels of my life.
First, I made a list of all the little tiny decisions I make on a day-to-day. They included what to eat for breakfast/how to do my hair/what to pack for lunch/what to make for dinner/which of the dozen chores to tackle in the evening hour…the list really goes on and on.
Next, I identified the level of control I had in these decisions. For some, I had complete control (how to do my hair), and in others, less (what to make for dinner). This helped me determine which areas of my life I could refine without the input from others.
Finally, I made a plan and developed some tools (read: fancy to-do lists) to help mitigate the decision fatigue that surround those daily decisions. So far, I’ve tackled meal planning, grocery shopping, house cleaning, laundry folding, and most importantly…what to wear.
Enter the weekend uniform.
This was the first decision I decisioned away. The weekends around here typically involve a lot of homework, grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning. Weekends past were spent in athletic wear, but because I’ve decided that I live my life more fully (and efficiently!) when I’m not wearing glorified pajamas, I now opt for a casual alternative of an easy wear top in a neutral black/grey, skinny jeans, and leopard flats. As you can see, I tried to up the cool factor by straying from the equation and adding boots to my outfit. I love the boots and dress combo, but for me, they’re just too high-maintenance with jeans. So, flats it is. You live, you learn…
I even convinced Becca, who usually finds my micromanaging tendencies rather repugnant, to come up with her own weekend uniform. She leans towards more color, but isn’t it crazy how well we coordinated? We have been walking out of the house in nearly identical outfits for years. I used to make Becca change. I was a mean sister sometimes!
Here’s our weekend uniform trifecta: no fuss top in black or grey for Catherine, bit-of-color for Becca + the $7.80 skinnies from F21 + leopard flats.
I’m actually wearing the Radical top as I type. It has been dubbed my lucky NaNoWriMo t-shirt, so it’s getting a lot of wear, weekend or not. I write at night, sleep in it to muster up more lucky writing magic, and then write again in the morning. It seems to be working.
Of course, having a uniform doesn’t mean excluding variation in your wardrobe. I’ve been alternating between the three or four B&W/grey tops I own, but I always go for the same pair of jeans and shoes. My outfits druing the week follow a totally different formula. Ultimately, I’m just trying avoid spending my Saturday tearing my closet apart trying to decide if my purple jeans go with my mustard cardigan.
Overall, I’ve already noticed a higher degree of motivation the better I protect my energies from decision fatigue, and there’s more to come as I further strategize other areas of my life. Lord knows I can’t help but Word Process my way into organizational solutions, so be on the look out for to-do-list forms, chore charts, and the like!
Do you struggle with decision fatigue? What area of your life would you consider uniforming?