Human Kaizen

Reduce Cognitive Load

Too many micro-decisions.

Reduce Cognitive Load

As a human on average you will make about 10,000 micro-decisions per day. This can drain your will because if you are utilizing a limited resource (energy) on frivolous things, you don’t have the willpower later in the day for bigger decisions like going to the gym or cracking a book instead of plopping on the couch and zoning out with TikTok or TV. So one of the secrets to improvement is to minimize what is called “cognitive load”, the amount of energy needed for decisions throughout the day. And that 10k is where you should start.

People made fun of Steve Jobs for having a single outfit (black jeans, black turtleneck, white sneakers) yet this removed a large energy sink from him daily and early: what do I wear today? He didn't have to even ask the question. But how much effort do you put into your clothing choices?

I knew early on I didn't have a great fashion sense, so for work I went basic and stayed that way. My suits are black, blue, or gray. Every dress shirt for work is white or blue. My ties fall within a narrow color range so few decisions there. My biggest clothing decision on a daily basis is which cool socks to wear. I reallocate the saved decision-making energy to more important choices involving my business and family. Simplicity gives rise to more capacity. Athletes meal prep for a week at a time and people ask “don't you get bored eating the same thing over and over?” Not really. Especially if you prep a couple of things and mix and match, or the PURPOSE is more important than variety if focused on a big goal. I mean, how long do you look at a menu in a restaurant? Why add that level of decision-making requirement into your life on a daily basis when you don’t need to do so?

Conserve intellectual energy by reducing your cognitive load on things that don’t make a difference to your long-term happiness. This is a way to Human Kaizen your life.