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For Obama, Jobs, and Zuckerberg, Boring is Productive

Hugh Pickens writes (1984118) writes | about 2 years ago

Businesses 0

Hugh Pickens writes writes "Robert C. Pozen writes in the Harvard Business Review that while researching a behind-the-scenes article of President Obama's daily life, Michael Lewis asked President Obama about his practice of routinizing the routine. "I eat essentially the same thing for breakfast each morning: a bowl of cold cereal and a banana. For lunch, I eat a chicken salad sandwich with a diet soda. Each morning, I dress in one of a small number of suits, each of which goes with particular shirts and ties." Why does President Obama subject himself to such boring routines? Because making too many decisions about mundane details is a waste of your mental energy, a limited resource. 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. Obama's practice is echoed by Steve Jobs who decided to wear the same outfit every day, so that he didn't have to think about it and the recent disclosure that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is proud that he wears the same outfit every day adding that he owns "maybe about 20" of the gray, scoop neck shirts he's become famous for. "The point is that you should decide what you don't care about and that you should learn how to run those parts of your life on autopilot," writes Pozen. "Instead of wasting your mental energy on things that you consider unimportant, save it for those decisions, activities, and people that matter most to you.""

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