Personal reflections: Avoid decisions and default to mastery

I believe that a human being can only handle so many decisions in a day. I am very inspired by the actions of personalities like Barack Obama, who doesn’t make decisions about clothes (apparently he only owns 2 type of suits), food (every meal is made for him) or anything practical of the sort.

The thing is, decision-making comes down to a range of parameters such as emotional state, willpower and focus at the given time. This ultimately leads to bad, unhealthy, unproductive and regrettable decisions.

That’s why I want to make an attempt to avoid as many decisions as possible, and then default to “mastery”.

Today I spend A LOT of time making decisions. It’s not so much decisions such as breakfast or clothes, but more questions like:

  • What task should I do next?
  • Is my current plan good enough?
  • Why am I not a successful founder at age 25?
  • How should I solve this task?
  • Should I favorite or retweet this tweet?
  • Should I like this Facebook picture?
  • Where should I live next?
  • What music should I listen to?

This is why I want to automate a lot of tasks the next months.

Automation of daily habits

Where to go and stay. As a digital nomad, I currently spend a lot of time making decisions about when and where to stay. I spend a lot of time finding a place to stay.

I have now made a plan for the next 6 months about where to go. This might fail, need to be changed or become obsolete in any way, but doing an actual attempt is really useful. Now I don’t have to think about it.

Before going there, I will find a digital assistant to find a convenient place and stay close to a co-working space.

Morning routine.

I am not good in the morning. I don’t believe I should have a very ambitious morning routine, as lazy-Lars will simply ruin it by sleeping.

Currently I do this when I wake up:

  • Walk to smartphone
  • Set alarm to +20 minutes
  • Wake up again
  • Make breakfast and eat
  • Dress
  • Leave for work

I want to modify this so my morning looks like this:

  • Leave bed and turn off alarm
  • Do 3 pushups (gotta start somewhere!)
  • Shower
  • Heat the pan with oil
  • Put in contacts
  • Dress (pick whatever; anything that is not suitable just throw out)
  • Make my breakfast (always 3 eggs with vegetables)
  • Eat
  • Leave for work

Evening routine.

I currently do not have an evening routine, but I believe I need one. I want to try a routine containing the following elements:

  • Review the work done during the day
  • Review my current most important focus, long term goals and monthly goals
  • Create a to-do list for the next day
  • Learn for at least 20 minutes (courses, books, Youtube videos)
  • Do at least 1 minute of meditation (I do know more is required, but the easier and more approachable an action seems, the more likely is it you’re going to follow through)

Picking meals at a restaurant.

I spend a lot of time eating out at the moment, and sometimes I just end up random places. They do not follow the slow carb menu.

My choice should be simple: pick the menu item that is the closest to the slow carb routine.

What to read.

I need to have a maintained list of prioritized books I want to read on Goodreads.

Work.

This is the killer. I spend between 8 and 14 hours pr. day where I am supposed to do actual work, so this is the area I have to focus on. The problem is that when you’re doing actual work, you make extremely bad decisions about what to focus on.

This is why the evening routine is so extremely important. In the evening I will generate lists with:

  • Must do tasks
  • Optional important tasks

By focusing on this list, I can focus on executing tasks, not thinking.

Distractions.

Music: will attempt Focus@Will, and if that annoys me too much, just pick playlists in Spotify.

For the rest of the time, I will try to use the pomodoro technique. Using this technique you focus in blocks of time (as far as I remember around 20 minutes). When it’s done, you can take a break. I plan to do e-mail, social media and other such activities during those breaks.

I will of course accept urgent interruptions. This will include phone calls (usually customers calling, and I like earning money, so there’s that).

I will do a bi-monthly follow up

This attempt starts today. I will do two follow-ups as a minimum; the first one in two weeks, and second one two weeks after that.

Wish me luck 🙂

Update #1: Self-improvement can be very difficult – also when travelling

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