by Sunil Bali, 03-11-13

Barack Obama has a surprisingly small and simple wardrobe. He always wears a blue or grey suit with a specific shirt and tie combination. When asked why, Obama replied:

Because I have too many other decisions to make, I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. You need to focus your decision-making energy. You need to routinize yourself. You can’t be going through the day distracted by trivia.

- President Obama, Vanity Fair

Research by Professor Roy Baumeister shows that the simple act of making decisions, diminishes one’s ability to make further decisions. It’s why shopping is so exhausting. All that deciding is energy sapping.

Baumeister says that willpower is like a muscle. And like all muscles, willpower can get fatigued when you use it over and over again.

If you want to get something done, especially creative work that requires focus, you need to reduce the number of decisions you make.

One of the most powerful ways to reduce decision fatigue is to plan daily decisions like what you’re going to eat, the night before, because this will make you mentally leaner and more agile to make the important choices the following day…’s also a great habit to get into if you want to lose weight.

When you know what you’re going to wear tomorrow, what you’re going to have for breakfast, and what work you’re going to do first, you’ll be much less likely to get sidetracked from doing what matters most.


  1. You know you’re really broke when American Express phone and say,
    "Leave home without it."
  2. The vet says, "I’ll have to put your dog down."
    "Why?" sobs the distraught owner.
    "He’s very heavy," replies the vet.
  3. A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm and says,
    "A beer please, and one for the road."
  4. The invisible man married the invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either.
  5. Deja Moo: the feeling that you’re heard all this bullsh1t before.
  6. Whenever you fall down, never ever lose hope. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, summon all your strength and determination and say, "I’ll have another one barman."