Choosing the Decisions We Make

You know that feeling of being run down by the overwhelming weight of the decisions that you have to make on a regular basis? I definitely have, and I’ve been practicing a solution that is working for me.

Decisions Use Energy

All decisions take up energy as we try process them. I’m starting to see this as neither good nor bad. What is important is where we prefer to extend our energy. This doesn’t mean that I want to automate everything and then sleep on the beach all day. There is a therapeutic beauty in daily practice of things we enjoy, like a [lightbox type=”image” href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lL9BiNuImws”]Japanese Tea Ceremony[/lightbox].

I’ll share an example from my experience. Making a decision of which trail or path to run on is a decision that I enjoy making. Trying to figure out which bills I need to pay at what time is not a decision process I enjoy.

From The Simple Dollar:

If we can find ways to take some of those decisions out of our hands, we reduce the number of active decisions we have to make in a given day. Thus, our decision fatigue is reduced and we’re less likely to make poor decisions due to such fatigue.

Our solution is to automate little decisions. We do this by spending time up front thinking of ways to eliminate some of our little regular decisions. Even eliminating tiny decisions really helps.

Automating Tasks That Aren’t Important

There are so many tools available that can help us with those decisions that we don’t enjoy as much. It might take a little work up front but the ease of mind later on is totally worth it.

Using the bill paying example above, I have set up my bills to be paid automatically based on the days that I get paid. This helps free my mind from trying to hold it all in my mental calendar. It is so simple and it is very easy to forget that it is simple.

Choosing the Decisions We Make

Automating some of these tasks allows me to enjoy the tasks/decisions that I enjoy to have as part of my daily routine. By doing this, I feel more fulfilled and have more energy to give to my favorite tasks.

I can reassess these automated tasks and the tasks that I enjoy every few months to see if they are still working to my benefit. This is much less upkeep than having to deal with them all daily.

What decisions do you enjoy making? Which would you prefer not to make as often? Are you able to automate some of those tasks?

Creating a Daily Routine for Freedom

The more I explore myself, the more I realize that my “freedom” is not from not having anything to do but by doing things that give me purpose.

Watching the Clock with Nothing to Do

checking time on watch
image source picjumbo.com

I spent many years without a daily routine. Not having a routine made me watch the clock, not getting anything done and I found it hard to feel fulfilled at the end of the day.

Not having a routine made me check the time often and gave me a feeling like I was wasting time in some way. I wasn’t sure how to get things done or which item I should start next. There were no priorities and therefore, no way to know what was important.

Creating a Daily Routine

It seemed counter intuitive to me but setting a full daily routine has helped me feel more free. I think part of the freedom feeling is feeling fulfilled. Doing what is important to me helps me feel like I have taken care of my list, even if some office work doesn’t get finished.

Creating a daily routine for me is about simplicity. If I do the things that are most important for my welfare, I feel fulfilled. For me, if I do my daily meditation and mantra practice, I feel good, even if more work came in than I was able to finish.

I have noticed that doing something daily, even if it is only for a few minutes a day, makes me much better at it. Aly Dunne (@thewayofmantra) explains how a daily practice is like a river wearing down rock over time.

Here is a quick view of my daily routine:

  • Wake up, meditate, chant
  • Drink elixir (modified from Apple Cider Vinegar Elixir), walk dogs, start hot water for tea, sing to my kombucha scoby
  • Work on graphic/web projects
  • Eat lunch
  • Work on graphic/web projects
  • Go for run, walk dogs, walk by myself
  • Meet with friends, network
  • Wind down, sleep

Resources for Optimizing the Daily Routine

Here are some of the tools and resources that help me develop and stick with my routine.

Your Routine

Do you have a daily routine? If so, what have you noticed by following it/not following it?