Having a Routine May Make Decisions Easier

Vohs’s experiments tested whether everyday choices — which candy bar to eat or what clothes to buy, for instance — wear down our mental energy. The results? Vohs and colleagues consistently found that making repeated choices depleted the mental energy of their subjects, even if those choices were mundane and relatively pleasant.
So, if you want to be able to have more mental resources throughout the day, you should identify the aspects of your life that you consider mundane — and then “routinize” those aspects as much as possible. In short, make fewer decisions.

via Boring Is Productive – Robert C. Pozen – HBS Faculty – Harvard Business Review.

Fascinating stuff. Now I know why it’s hard to decide to what to have for dinner at the end of a long day and why lots of decisions early in the day result the need for a nap in the afternoon.