You Do Too Much of This, and It’s Costing You. Eliminate With Extreme Prejudice

You think too much.

Sorry I have to break it to you, but it’s true.

And thinking is expensive. There’s a cognitive cost to using that brain of yours, and it’s good to be stingy and miserly with your thoughts.

And I don’t mean thinking about what groceries you need to get or what decision to make in your business. That kind of thinking, that’s useful and often necessary (though much less often than you think).

The kind of thinking we all ought to give up, is about the things we’ll be thinking about again tomorrow. And the day after, and then next week and so on.

You know, the stuff you’ve thought about yesterday, and last week and…

Things like what to wear, what route to drive, at which time to leave home and catch the bus, where you put that tool that you need every week or so, or what project to work on today or this week.

Stuff like that should be thought about once, and then set in stone.

Automated, systematised, routinified and habificated.

(Oh look: Martin is breaking the English language again. How cute).

I’m serious though: why on earth would you want to spend part of your finite daily mental resources, dealing with stuff that could just be decided and reverted back to from then on?

Makes no sense to me.

Any thought process or decision-to-be-reached is best considered thoroughly once. And that’s it.

Not that things become boring that way: if you want to have two or ten routes to your kid’s school, that’s fine. But then decide on two or ten routes once, and be done with it. Add or subtract as you go along.

So I recommend you eliminate all unnecessary thinking. With extreme prejudice.

Why?

Because of what psychologists call ego-depletion.

Meaning that our ego – our self – grows tired over the course of a day, and the more resources we use, the faster that goes.

And that includes mental – cognitive – resources.

So if you spend an hour each morning thinking about routine stuff, you’ve just spent a correlated amount of ego.

And me, I’d much rather spend my ego on making art or coaching people. For example.

Routine thoughts?

Eliminate with extreme prejudice.

Do that by turning them into systems, habits, and principles.

There. Peace of mind, and the energy you need to actually make stuff happen.

Cheers,

​Martin


Also published on Medium.

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