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The New Habit Challenge: Wear The Same Clothes Every Day

Making a lot of small decisions all day wears out your brain for the big stuff. This week we're cutting out some inconsequential choices.

[Image: Bork via Shutterstock]

Ever notice how Barack Obama, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Kors, and countless other pioneers all seem to experience fashion deja vu on a daily basis? They must know something we don't.

Perhaps it's the fact that the more decisions we make, the more we're stressing our brains out and killing our productivity.

President Obama explained it best during a 2012 interview with Vanity Fair when he revealed why he only wears gray or blue suits:

I'm trying to pare down decisions. I don't want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.

Experts explain that your pool of decision-making energy is limited, and eventually, as your willpower depletes with each new decision you make, you're more likely to either act impulsively or do nothing.

Steve Jobs seemed to have cottoned on to the beauty of simplicity—didn't he wear the same blue jeans and black polo neck daily?—and he was wildly successful. So maybe less variety isn't such a bad thing.

For the next week, I plan to put this theory to the test, and I hope you'll join me.

My outfit of choice, since I am fortunate enough to work in a creative field, will be a pair of blue jeans and a black T-shirt. Luckily I own more than one set of each item, so the smelly factor need not be a concern (also there's this thing called a washing machine).

There are other easy ways to pare down your decision making, so I'll also put things like meals on autopilot by deciding before the week begins what I'll bring for lunch and preplanning all of the week's dinners. And I'll streamline my smaller work tasks by putting my to-do list together the day before.

Challenge yourself to pare down your decisions every day next week and tell us what you loved and hated about it, if it worked or totally bombed, and we may feature your response in an upcoming Fast Company story. Responses must be submitted to habits@fastcompany.com by end of day Thursday, August 14, 2014.