A recent blog post by Robert Pozen on the Harvard Business Review made the claim that “boring is productive”. Putting it like that doesn’t sound too exciting, especially considering that the subject matter of the article is our President, one Barack Obama, and his tricks for a productive day. Who better to take time-management cues from than one of the busiest men on Earth?
The gist of the piece is that when Obama isn’t making decisions that change the face of the planet, he’s not making decisions at all. The clothes he wears, the food he eats, his exercise routine, and other comparatively mundane daily details either remain constant day after day, or are planned out in advance. When it’s time to sit down for a meal or get dressed for the day, Obama’s doesn’t even have to think about the details.
The idea is that the human brain has only a certain amount of decision-making power before its effectiveness drops off steeply. The article links to two scientific studies that seem to support this; even when the decisions are mundane or low-risk, the simple act of repeatedly deciding on one thing over another is enough to fatigue the brain into making less-than-optimal choices.
You can mitigate this by taking advantage of the same methods President Obama does, namely identifying parts of your daily routine that you can automate to decrease the number of daily choices you’re forced to make. Ziptask is well-poised to help you with this effort by reducing not only the amount of decisions you have to make, but clearing up extra time to make more important decisions. Instead of dedicating a bunch of idle brain power to your more boring or tedious work assignments, Ziptask can automatically complete them while you are free to focus your attention on things more worthy.
If you’re finding your decision-making skills to be less sharp lately, or you’re just feeling overwhelmed with simple tasks, having Ziptask automate parts of your workday could end up being a huge boon. With your extra time, you could find new things to automate and start a positive feedback loop that ends with you having tons more free time and a much happier brain.