Decision fatigue is real. Wait... Don't get me wrong; this is certainly a "first world problem," but in the first world it exists. Whether you're navigating complicated decisions at work, wondering what you want to be when you grow up or when you retire, or dealing with the mundane decisions of well... living, decision fatigue can sneak up on you and drain energy that you should be reserving for important decisions.
So, I was intrigued when I saw an article explaining how President Obama simplifies his trivial, everyday decision-making in order to focus his energy on higher-quality decisions - you know, the ones required to run a country. He exclusively wears gray or blue suits every day because it's one less thing to think about in the morning.
For me, this idea is a little overboard. I actually do love getting dressed in the morning, as it's often the most creative part of my day (plus, to think that my job compares in any way to running a country would be obnoxious). So a couple years ago, I found a closet compromise that's allowed me to cut down on this trivial, everyday decision debate and continue expressing a little personality in my wardrobe: I organized my closet by color.
Here's what I do:
- Have everything that is in season available. In London, it feels like there's only 1 season year round, so this is easy - ha! But if you're lucky enough to live in a place with leaves, sun, and snow, I recommend storing your out-of-season clothes out-of-sight.
- Hang up everything that can be part of your daily outfit selection. For me, this means that jeans are unfortunately not in daily rotation.
- Organize in color blocks. The fun part! Back in my over-the-top perfectionist days, these color blocks went ROYGBIV, but I am so much more laid back than that now ;)
- When you get dressed in the morning, work left to right. When you're getting dressed, choose the next "new" item in your color block and base your outfit around that. In my case, I actually have fewer clothes than the Mr. (seriously), so working my closet like this helps me come up with creative combo ideas. For example, if the next item in my closet is a green sweater, I may wear it with a suit one week and more casual pants and a blazer the next.
- After you've worn and cleaned an item, hang it back on the right side of your color block. That way, you rotate through all of your clothes without thinking about it.
Now that I've shared all this, it's one of those things that makes me wonder: "Am I a lunatic? Who says this stuff out loud?" But, it works for me, gifting me with a mini burst of creativity and color quotidien- without decision fatigue.
Image borrowed from NYMag