How a Capsule Wardrobe Fights Decision Fatigue to Help You Kick Ass All Day

How a Capsule Wardrobe Fights Decision Fatigue to Help You Kick Ass All Day, Lela Davidson
 

A few years ago, before the Big Job and the kids' college applications and the Faking Balance in turbo mode, I used to get up very early on Monday mornings with Kim and Loria to talk about all things mommy-related on the local news.

Getting dressed for regular life is a challenge for me; getting dressed for TV was practically paralyzing. Fortunately, once we started appearing together, my partners started picking out my clothes.

Because I am wardrobe challenged, letting Kim and Loria put my looks together made the most sense. And while I have no doubt the three of us will work together again one day, and I might even charm them into being my personal stylists again too, for now I have to get my self dressed.

Every single day. Seriously.

When I stumbled upon the capsule wardrobe, I was so excited because I LOVE a system and this seemed like an ideal way for me to decrease the morning anxiety of getting dressed that could really work for me. I know this all might sound a little silly, because how hard is it really to get dressed in the morning?

Very, for some of us.

If you've ever had more than five shirts on before you left the house, you might need a capsule wardrobe too. Because clothes are extremely important, and having to make decisions about them each and every day is a colossal expenditure of mental energy that could be better utilized elsewhere.

Steve Jobs employed the ultimate capsule wardrobe, and it enabled him to be more creative. A lot of other extremely successful people to the same thing. There are only 37 pieces (give or take) in my capsule wardrobe and they all work together like Garanimals for grown ups. Genius. Because there's nothing that burns my mental resources quite like getting dressed in the morning.

Most days it's all I can do to get out of the house in something that doesn't bring up feelings of being the awkward 4th grader in bell bottom jeans and a cowl neck sweater.

I had no idea when the amazing Kyran Pittman introduced me to the concept of the capsule wardrobe, that I was actually taking my first baby steps into learning about decision fatigue, which is an actual thing that smart people study. If you think, like I did, that the only decisions that tax your brain are important ones, you are wrong. So, so wrong.

Your brain is only able to make so many decisions in a day. Once you've hit your quota, your decision making capability is diminished. So you could start making poor decisions, or just start to use way too much energy for simple decisions. And again, we're talking ALL kinds of decisions, not just the really important ones, like a which color to put on your nails. So, on a daily basis, decisions are a finite resource. Now, to make it even more interesting, consider that making decisions uses the same brain juice as willpower, which makes sense because choosing the boiled egg over the Krispy Kreme is just another decision.

By making it easier on myself to put together an outfit every day, I can improve my health because I have more decision making juice at lunch time to select a salad over a chimichanga; I can improve my business because I have more juice for choosing the right things to work on given the infinite nature of my to-do list; I can improve my relationships by choosing better timing to talk about important things, and make better decisions about which household chores to remind my family to do in a given day.

When I think about what a valuable resource each decision is, how it can affect the rest of my day, it makes me want to really learn how to limit them. What other decisions can I avoid at home, at work, with my kids? What decisions am I making that would be better made by someone else? Where am I micro-managing and therefore limiting my growth? What else can I put on auto-pilot?

And how can I look as cute as when I had two personal stylists?

Got systems? Share! I'm a nerd for systems. Let's get smarter together.

What mundane decisions have you eliminated from your daily routine?