One time decision & meaningful work

I have a high value for simplicity and rhythm. The core of my personality moves against non simplicity and things that feel chaotically untethered or messy. I am not communicating this as a positive or negative quality in and of itself. It’s simply a hinge point for how I approach the world. And it fuels my creativity.

Don’t strive for variation—and thus increase option consideration—when it’s not needed. Routine enables innovation where it’s most valuable. – Tim Ferriss

Simplicity in daily routine and systematizing daily decision making is a bedding for my creativity. These terms allow me to give mental equity to meaningful work, while flipping routine decisions over to autopilot.  I give time to problems and how to solve them. I think of beats and melodies for new songs I write. I dream up more effective ways to communicate ideas. I don’t want to think about what to eat for breakfast on Tuesday morning or what I should wear on any given Thursday.

The ways I work out daily rhythms change from year to year and season to season, but my need for them does not change. This year, I decided to take two specific items off of my “daily decision list” — clothing & breakfast — two early morning time consumers.

1. I paired my wardrobe down to my favorite things… and then I paired it down again. This is what remained: white v-necks (no surprise to anyone who knows me), black jeans, a pair of vans and a few pairs of boots — in the name of “variety” — and I kept a black cardigan for times when I need to “dress it up” a bit. And I included two pull overs for colder days. This is my one time decision wardrobe.

2. I decided on a breakfast menu for the coming months — frozen mango, assorted frozen berries, spinach, cocoanut, white tea or water base, and into the blender. Once again, the problem is solved and I have headspace to think about more meaningful things. This is my one time decision breakfast.

And there you have it. A peek into my one time decision. Again, the goal here is not to become ridged and systematized in every possible way. The goal is to free up mental equity from routine tasks while converting that capacity into meaningful and creative work.

Phil Rice —
Executive Director of Ember

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