Why Wearing The Same Clothes Daily Improves Decision-Making

Here’s an observation: it seems that each day, we get a certain amount of capacity to make decisions — a “tank of fuel” if you will.

Each decision we make, no matter how small, subtracts from our available fuel.  At some point, we deplete our tank and decision-making becomes impossible or severely flawed.

If this is true, it means that to the degree you can minimize the number of decisions you make in a given day, the more you have left for important matters.

And this is why I’ve found that by wearing the same clothes every day (or by intentionally limiting my options), the amount I subtract from my tank is minimal (or nothing at all).  Instead of having to worry about matching shoes, socks, pants, belt, shirt, and coat, I provide myself with a set of clothes that are easy to mix-and-match (or nearly identical).

And this leaves me more fuel for the day.

I’ve also noticed that at the end of a long day of decision-making, I have little left in the tank for my wife. A simple question about a mundane household task can feel simply overwhelming.

Thus, if this crazy theory is true, then we should minimize BS for ourselves (like the hassle of having to put together a new outfit everyday), and therefore improve our ability to make important decisions (as well as have meaningful interactions with our loved ones).

What do you think?  Could wearing the same thing each day yield more capacity for decision-making?  Or is this a weak excuse on my part to explain poor fashion sense?

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Three GoToMeeting Productivity Hacks

GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting

We’ve used GoToMeeting’s line of products for years to host ad-hoc meetings, training sessions, and webinars.  We’ve also recently started using Join.Me, which some team members have reported is working well for them — more on that later.

Here are three GoToMeeting hacks that we’ve found increase productivity:

  • Set up a recurring meeting that never expires, and reuse it over and over.  It’s relatively easy to launch a new meeting every time you need to meet with someone, but I’ve found it is even easier to use the same meeting ID and phone # whenever possible.  I’ve been using the same meeting ID for about 2 years, and now nearly everyone in the company has it memorized — as do a number of Clients.  It’s very easy to say, “Hey, meet me in the usual place in 3 minutes!”  It probably saves 5-10 minutes in back-and-forth creating a meeting, reading the meeting ID to someone, etc.
  • Let them see your face — and take a look at theirs!  We’ve found that it is incredibly useful to turn on video.  We’ve found that it helps strengthen the communication, as body language and facial expressions can add tremendous depth to an interaction.  I’ve seen another software company report a 40% increase in sales conversions, directly correlated to the simple act of their sales team turning on their webcams.  You may find people in your organization hesitant to do this, but little by little I believe this will become the norm as opposed to the exception.  I’d love to experiment with using this on our Support Team, and measure how the quality of service is impacted by allowing folks to see us.
  • Record your meetings and share them with others.  GoToMeeting makes it very easy to record your meetings, and by doing so, provides you a great way to share information with others in your company.  In addition, I’ve found that I learn a great deal by re-listening to my meetings.  Why?  In many cases, I miss a possible meaning, opportunity, or issue during the real-time exchange.  Upon reflection and in a setting where I don’t have to think about what’s coming next, I’m able to absorb more deeply.   

What GoToMeeting productivity hacks have you discovered?  Do you use your webcam during meetings?  If not, what keeps you from doing it?

Success Factors No One Talks About: How The # of Yucky Convos You’re Willing to Have Is Strangely Correlated w/Your Success

In order to move forward, whether it be your organization, your project team, or even a personal relationship, I’ve found that it takes leaning into uncomfortable, yucky conversations to really take steps forward.

You know the types of conversations I’m talking about, right? The ones you dread. The ones that keep you up at night. The ones you’d rather fast-forward through and not have to live through in real-time. But what I have found time and time again, is that when we’re willing to lean into those uncomfortable conversations … we end up obtaining real progress.

And when we realize that forcing ourselves through these conversations is directly correlated with our success, great things can happen.

Progress that changes the quality of our life. Progress that improves the ability you have to get things done, like make better software, strengthen your relationship with a business partner, or improve your marriage. The alternative is ugly. Not having these conversations can make you miserable, as they can suck up enormous amounts of brain energy if left unaddressed. Not to mention the stories we create in our minds about the other person and their motives!

Here’s what I’ve found helpful in getting myself geared up for (and having) these types of conversations:

  • Have talking points.  Write them down, think about their order, and if you’re disciplined, use some mental imagery to imagine yourself delivering them.  Work through the most extreme and uncomfortable situations in your head.  The act of playing scenarios out in your head in advance can do amazing things.
  • During the conversation, have an outlet for that nervous, yucky energy.  Have you felt this?  Sometimes during a meeting it’s just plain awkward.  I’ve found that it is good to have a release of this tension, but it’s usually not socially appropriate to punch a wall.  Instead, here’s a tip: curl your toes tightly in your shoe.  No one can see you do it, but I’ve found that it helps release that energy.  You look calm on the surface, but inside that shoe it’s another story!
  • Put your conversation in perspective.  For example, talking to that team member about how they’re not meeting your expectations — is it really that bad?  Sometimes I’ll imagine a much more difficult scenario.  What if I were a doctor, having to tell a mother that her child has passed?  In view of that type of conversation, my fears will sometimes subside.

What about you: have you noticed that when you’re willing to have uncomfortable conversations, you actually move forward?  Have you noticed that people who seem to make stuff happen are the ones who don’t seem to mind having yucky conversations?

(Or maybe they do mind, but are just curling their toes!)

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