Mark Zuckerberg wears the same outfit, jeans and a gray shirt, on most days, which, Zuckerberg explains reduces the number of decisions within a given day, and helps him focus on decisions that require the most attention.
An elementary age student, in most cases, begins their life with simple decisions--wanting to wear the same clothes and eat the same breakfast every day. As they mature, their decisions are influenced by others and their environments-- gaining perspective and access to a variety of options.
It may seem oversimplified, but we really do expend energy, specifically glucose, when we make a decision. Therefore, waking up and putting on the same clothes-- eating the same breakfast, every day, is useful to our overall mental health.
Wendy Wood refers to automaticity in habits as creating your “second self.” A version of yourself that acts out of habit without much thought in decision making.
If we help students understand that this “second self” needs room to grow, and the benefits of that “second self” are improved character and habits, reducing the number of decisions per day gives the student the ability to focus on the habits that ensure growth.
Originally published on LinkedIn.