Recently I had a friend over at my place and since he arrived in the morning, we had breakfast before heading out to the city.
I prepared my classic porridge-muesli which is high protein, high carb and mucho deliciousness.
While preparing we were discussing breakfast and cooking hacks, in order to have more energy throughout the day and to be more productive.
We talked about having specific morning routines and how that can help you to be more energized and focused.
As you know, I’m a big fan of the evening routine, so I generally start my next day already today, by making sure that I can properly wind down.
In another post I’ll talk about my specific morning routine as well, but since I’m in Civil Service right now, the routine is a bit different and wouldn’t reflect the current state.
“So do you eat this breakfast every single morning?” Yup, almost every day. If I don’t eat it as a breakfast, I’ll even have it as a lunch or post-workout dish, because it is so adjustable.
The importance of simplicity
While the ingredients obviously play a role, and you can check out the my specific recipe here, the main point that I think is more important, is simply that it is more or less the same every day.
See every day you get up, you make decisions based on how you’re feeling. Whether you want to dress differently, how to have your hair, whether to use perfume or not, which shoes to wear and other similar small decisions.
And it costs energy. Even if it costs you just a little energy, it does cost you. I call this “the decision energy pool”.
This is a set amount of energy you have every day to make certain decisions and use your creativity against.
So deciding on a specific set of shoes, costs you energy which you will lack when having to decide on how to organize a meeting, or whether you should go route a or b in a business setting.
Think about this for a second. What kind of tea you want to drink in the morning, might cost you a big business decision, because you decided wrongly.
Obviously there are very rare instances where you make life-changing decisions, but if you have specific goals in life and a certain discipline to reach them, you don’t want to waste time and want to stay focused as much as possible.
That’s why I try to automate specific decisions every day, so that I don’t have to think about them and don’t have to use energy out of the “decision energy pool”.
Steve Jobs did it, and so does Mark Zuckerberg
Did you ever think about why Steve Jobs made the black turtleneck, the jeans and the new balance sneakers famous? Or why Mark Zuckerberg generally wears flipflops and the same type of grey shirt with jeans?
The decision energy pool, folks. That’s the only reason.
Through wearing the same thing every day, it is one thing less they have to think about and more energy in the pool for important decisions that matter.
When I read about Tim Ferriss’ Slow-Carb Diet, there is one element he stresses on, which is having 30g of protein, immediately after waking up. This could be in form of a protein shake or by eating some eggs.
The reason for this is again, very simple: Through having specific constants in the morning, you are less likely to fall off track when it comes to your weight loss goal.
Oh and by the way, Tim also recommends eating a few meals over and over again during that specific weight loss period.
It makes things simpler and you there is more certainty that you will reach your goals.
It’s not only about the breakfast
Obviously in my case it’s very specific with the breakfast and my tea routine that I have. But as we’ve seen in the above examples, an specific (stylish, yet functional) dress code can work as well.
For example, in summer I almost always wear a v-neck shirt by uniqlo and a pair of jeans, with some minimalist, 15 bucks sneakers.
It looks good (but I am biased) and is very comfortable, so besides saving energy from the decision energy pool, I can feel comfortable in what I’m wearing and how I’m looking.
I learned this by observing and reading about people like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, but also by having an interesting discussion with a friend, who sometimes writes about this topic.
Another interesting example was observing my girlfriend get dressed in the morning. She always has to decide on what to wear, based on multiple factors: feelings, weather, mood, functionality, occasion, etc. It costs her not only energy out of the pool but also a lot of time she could spend pursuing different goals.
A small hack here would be to use your time in the evening and do it while you’re doing your evening routine. Chances are, that in the evening, you don’t have to decide on a lot of important stuff, so you can use that energy to prepare your clothes for the next morning.
That’s why I’m a big fan of routines in general, whether it’s morning or evening. Routines take out the guess work out of your work and make you more productive day in, day out, so that you more easily reach the good life.
Even the productivity ritual, is very much set up in a way so that I don’t have to think about writing down my goals or todos, I just do it and then it’s done.
As you can see it can make sense to automate certain decisions that you have to think about every day. It will help you preserve energy in the decision energy pool, so that you can make better decisions when they actually matter.
Try to build it into your morning or evening routine and automate daily tasks as much as possible. What you drink, what you eat and what you will wear are great places to start.