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Episode 013 | Zuck Your Life: Decision Fatigue & Self-Care

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The IDEA concept discussed in Episode 009 helps us figure out which tasks, responsibilities, hobbies, and commitments we can Ignore (for now), Delegate, Eliminate, and Automate. Arguably our biggest responsibility, however, is to our own health. (Tough to do much of anything if you’re not here on the planet to do it.) Here, the tools in the IDEA kit are not all equally useful.

It’s not a great idea, for instance, to ignore your self-care. And you can’t really delegate it or eliminate it. But you can automate some of the activities around your self-care. And for some of us, finding a way to minimize our day-to-day decisions by automating some of them leads us to make better decisions about our health and leaves us more gas in the decision-making tank for other pursuits.

I got to thinking about this after going down a reading rabbit hole where I learned a bit about the habits of billionaires. Not really a thing I’m usually overly interested in, but in the end, I was grateful for the perspective I gained on a couple of things.

I am using “Zuck” as my catchphrase as a way to represent the tips I picked up from Mark Zuckerberg and the other billionaires that I read about. (I do this mostly because it’s more fun to say “Zuck your Meals” than say “Musk You Eat That” or something.)

Some ideas for you to mull over:

  1. Zuck Your Meals – Think about automating some of your meals to reduce the amount of energy you expend around deciding what to eat, what ingredients you need for it, etc. Bonus points if you decide upfront to choose meals that reflect your nutrition goals. For example, if you’re looking to get more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your life, can you decide to eat oatmeal and fruit at breakfast and salads for lunch everyday? I personally like to leave one-third of my meals (usually dinner) as the “wild card.” But, honestly, when we really get in the weeds with sports around here, even that can be a chore. During those times, I like to have a standard weekly dinner menu we can more or less count on so that I don’t have to expend the energy figuring out how to fuel us between sporting events. You know: Meatless Mondays (pasta, usually), Taco Tuesdays, Panini Wednesdays (Hey, we can’t always have alliteration on our side!). Anyway, you get the idea.

  2. Zuck Your Shopping – If you’ve already zucked your meals, this part is automatically easier. How can you make it even easier? How about using the new pickup features at places like Target or Kroger? Perhaps an Amazon subscription that just shows up more or less when you need it without much additional input from you? What about trying out one of the food/meal delivery services, like Blue Apron, HelloFresh, or one of the 92 other ones that popped up during the time you were reading this post?

  3. Zuck Your Clothes – I like to think of this one as Project Fonzie. I’m dating myself, but if you were a Happy Days fan, you knew what Fonzie was going to look like every week: jeans, white t-shirt, leather jacket. He was rocking the capsule wardrobe/minimalism thing before it was a thing. Maybe as with the zuck your meals example, you shoot for two-thirds of your wardrobe being capsule items that work perfectly for the majority of your day-to-day experiences. Have some fun with that last third. Whether or not you’re ready to embrace the minimalism/capsule approach, subscribing to one of the personal shopping subscription services like Stitch Fix or Trunk Club (or again, one of the dozens that launched in the last ten minutes) can streamline your efforts here.

  4. Zuck Your Skin Care, etc. – Picking days of the week or month that you do certain things can be freeing. For example, my exfoliator instructions say I should be aiming for twice a week. So I picked Wednesday and Sunday and put it in the shower. When I aimed for a vague “twice a week” I rarely hit my goal, but I manage to bust out the exfoliator most Wednesdays and Sundays. Also a great approach for hair and nail care.

  5. Zuck Your Fitness – Getting 30+ minutes of exercise “sometime” every day doesn’t work for me. Walking the dogs and/or doing yoga right after I get up (usually) does.

  6. Zuck Your Family & Friend Time – I’ve got two busy teenagers and a busy husband. Trying to figure out how to spend “more” time with them wasn’t working. Everybody always has something else they could do on any given night. I picked an evening of the week that rarely had practices or events and declared it “Family Movie Night.” Do we manage it every week? I wish. Do we end up in the living room sharing some popcorn and a movie (and hopefully a few laughs or conversation) more often than we did before? Yep. Also use this approach with your friends. If you know that the third Wednesday of the month is Euchre Night/Book Club/Wine Club/Whatever, you don’t buy tickets to go see that show on Wednesday. You pick another day and make sure to keep those friendships alive and kicking.

  7. Zuck Your Writing – This one just snuck in there, but I would argue that if you’re a writer, then writing is a form of self-care. How can you automate things here? Can you choose one bag, one place, one type of software or notebook/pen combo you use? What can you decide on now so that you don’t have to make a million little decisions when you actually get the opportunity to sit down to write?

Now go zuck up your life! Catch you next time!

Happy writing, people!


  1. 7 Ways To Reduce Decision Fatigue — And Why That’s Important by Kirsty Hutton

  2. 23 Daily Habits Practiced by Highly Successful People by Christina DesMarais

  3. Building a Capsule Wardrobe: The Benefits of Having a Personal Uniform by Patrick Wright

  4. Capsule Wardrobes: 7 Benefits of Simplifying Your Wardrobe by Refined Rooms

  5. Consider This New Yorker Cover: Do You Love Simplicity or Abundance? by Gretchen Rubin

  6. Life Is Easier with a Capsule Wardrobe by Nicole Anzio

  7. The People Who Eat the Same Meal Every Day by Joe Pinsker

  8. The Science of Decision Fatigue: 4 Ways to Make Fewer, Better Choices by Michael Hyatt

  9. Streamline Your Life by

  10. Take a Load Off: A Suggestion for Lightening the Mental Load by Laura Vanderkam

  11. What Is a Capsule Wardrobe, Who Does It Benefit, and How to Adopt Your Own by Bethany Johnson

  12. 10 Capsule Wardrobe Basics by The Blissful Mind

  13. Capsule Wardrobe Checklist for Busy Moms by Caitlin Kruse

  14. Why Successful People Wear the Same Thing Every Day by Craig Bloem

#automate #selfcare #writingtime

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