Instantly Have More Energy and Time by Reducing Decision Fatigue Part II: Clothing
Instantly Have More Energy and Time by Reducing Decision Fatigue
Part II: Clothing
Part I of this series tackled the biggest drain of mental resources and time that we endure each day: food. If you didn’t read that portion, you definitely need to go back so you can tackle that first. This next productivity and energy booster is about tackling your apparel and wardrobe to free up even more time and energy in your life.
Even for those of you who only take 10-20 seconds to decide what to wear, it’s a mental drain on your mind in the morning that starts the day off with a bad tone. It seems like nothing, but when you wake up, you consciously and subconsciously have HUNDREDS of thoughts running through your mind. You’re tired, you hit snooze oh crap you’re running late, you need to eat food, what are you going to wear, shit did you pay the electric bill? I need to let the dog out, oh today is that appointment I have, where is it? What am I going to wear? Why does my foot hurt? I wonder what the workout will be today. You get the gist right?
And for many, the decision to decide what to wear is FAR longer than 20 seconds. It could range from 3-30 minutes. This is insane. You can’t do this. Free up more energy and time right now.
Decide what you’re wearing the night before
Your parents probably did it when you were pretty young, and if you’re a parent you might be doing it for your kids now. But it needs to happen. It’s much easier to grab the clothes and put it them somewhere the night before. That way when you wake up all groggy and tired, you don’t need to even need to make a decision or think one bit. Take the clothes, lay them out or put them on a chair or dresser nearby. Done. No need to find your phone, turn the flashlight on, dig through the drawers or closet. No panic, no anxiety, no thinking.
Get rid of 90% of your clothes
Yes, 90%. No, it’s not an exagerration. I can guarantee you don’t wear 90% of your clothing that you own. You have stuff stored away you forgot you even own. Simplify your life by starting with your clothing. There’s a reason Marie Kondo is so popular right now: people deep down know they want to simplify their house and own less. Companies spend billions of dollars a year hacking our brains to convince us to buy more and more things. Things we don’t need. Can we have things, and nice things? Absolutely! We simply don’t need anywhere near as much that we all have. I downsized by wardrobe by 80%, and I’m going to actually downsize it even more.
What’s a good number? 100 items. ONE. HUNDRED. Here’s what doesn’t count: socks, underwear, snow gear, bathing suits, renovation/dirty job clothes, and jewelry. Here’s what DOES count: tops, bottoms, coats, shoes, hats, scarves, and workout clothes. Some people will say that workout clothes don’t count, but I know who my audience and I know for a fact I had like 50 freaking workout shirts from different gyms and companies before I downsized. There’s a reason we all love Spring Cleaning: it’s very rewarding and great to clean up and rid of clutter.
Put Away Seasonal Stuff
If you don’t already, you should be putting away any seasonal clothes you may own. It needs to be away in boxes or containers that are not in your closet and dressers. Even though you may know you’re not going to wear any winter clothes in June, just seeing it and needing to sort through it takes up time and energy.
How do I decide?
If you haven’t worn something in that season in 3 weeks, it goes. You can certainly keep a special occasion shirt that’s once a year, like July 4th. You have clothes you’ve forgotten you own, so you’re not going to miss it anyways, and you’ll really love freeing up 90% of your closet and drawers. My personal saying for this and many things in life is, “If it’s not a hell-yes, it’s a no” which was made famous by Derek Sivers. I don’t do the “no” and the “maybe” pile. Just get straight to the point, you either would wear this shirt multiple times in a month or it’s gone.
Once you’ve properly downsized your wardrobe and put away clothes that aren’t specific to this current season, you can now organize them by color to very quickly decide what to wear without wasting time and mental energy. I fold and stack all my clothes by color. All my black shirts are folded and put away together. Next to that are the white shirts, the gray shirts, blue, green, etc. The same occurs with my pants and shirts, which I own far less items. What makes this so easy is that I simply grab a color of pants or shirts, and then I grab whatever shirt goes well with that color that’s at the front/top of that stack. I don’t think about what logo or design is on the shirt. Whatever is next in line to wear, that’s what gets worn. I’ve already downsized my wardrobe to only shirts I really want to wear. This way I never question if I want to wear any of the things I own.
I thoroughly enjoy opening my closet and seeing a very organized, color-coordinated collection of clothes. I typically just grab whatever shirt is on top of the highest stacked and folded pile at that time, and grab a pair of matching pants or shorts, and I toss it onto the chair to be worn that next morning. I have my coffee and my food already prepped, so I’m out the door within 10 minutes of when I woke up. Go forth and donate most of your closet.