Decision Fatigue

I’ve been feeling more tired than normal lately and it’s driving me mental. ‘Tired’ is such a difficult symptom to self-diagnose because it could be coming from a hundred different reasons.

Is it my sleep quality? Is it something I’m eating that’s causing the issue? Is it a certain type of nutrition I’m lacking? Am I working too much? Am I exercising too much? Am I not exercising enough? Physical? Emotional? Spiritual? All the above?

You could categorize all of these into two main central ideas:

  • Something needed to be added or increased
  • Something needed to be removed or decreased

And then determine if i’s one thing causing the underlying issue or multiple things.

For example, increasing strength training, increasing the number of hours asleep, and decreasing entertainment options.

My guess is decision fatigue is playing a big role. Think of Decision fatigue as having too many options which leads to an overstressed and overstimulated state that can lead to physical symptoms of fatigue and overwhelm.

Having too many options available can stress us out. (Even when those options are great and something we want.) The classic example nowadays is you having so many TV and movie options to choose from, you spend thirty minutes trying to pick a show and end up not watching anything at all (or rewatching Community or New Girl.)

I wonder if it’s not just the decisions we have available to make that’s the issue, but also the decision we could make and decisions we wish we had and want but currently don’t have.

The strategy I’m working on personally:

  • Remove options from your physical (and digital) environments.
  • Don’t dwell on the options I wish I had and instead focus on the ones I currently have.
  • Add more in-between space in my day—“nothing” time between activities.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1211

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Get Out of Your Routine

“Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken.”

Frank Herbert

I love a good routine. Waking up early. Yoga. Making coffee. Writing. Reading. Most Important Task.

But there is such a thing as too much routine. When you build a habit, your brain is optimized to perform it with minimal amount of effort.

A good routine gives you the opportunity to focus and think intentionally about what you are doing. But too much routine and you start going through the motions thoughtlessly—without thinking at all. We want mindfulness, not mindlessness.

This is why occasionally getting out of your routine is a good thing. Doing something different opens your mind and turns you off autopilot.

Go for a walk.

Do something you’ve never done before.

Work somewhere new (if it’s somewhere in your house you typically don’t.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1210

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Recent Personal Insights

“Come what may, all bad fortune is to be conquered by endurance.” — Virgil

“It is easy to go down into Hell; night and day, the gates of dark Death stand wide; but to climb back again, to retrace one’s steps to the upper air – there’s the rub, the task.” — Virgil

It’s one thing to read about something, it’s another to experience it.

Half the battle of overcoming failure is accepting you are human and can make mistakes (intentionally and unintentionally.)

Self-sabotage is often wrapped in silk and laced with artificial sweeteners.

Being overwhelmed is a sign of too many inputs—too many todos, too many desires, too many things at once, and/or too many emails.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1209

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The Choice is Yours

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” Socrates

The more I know the less I know. That’s the excited (and occasionally overwhelming) thing about knowledge and skill. The deeper you go towards mastery, the more you unlock and the more secrets there are to uncover.

Mastery isn’t a finite state. It’s a continuous curve that never quite touches the sides. Discover is endless. Which keeps things interesting if you stay flexible and curious. There’s always another mountain to explore after you get to the top of the one you are on. There’s always another puzzle to solve.

Mastery is also a choice. We can’t learn everything, mostly because we don’t have the time.

Also, time changes what is possible to mastery. Computers, as we know them, are less than a hundred years old (two-hundred if you start with Babbage). Think of all of the wonderful things that you focus on and master from this invention.

Well, not all. But that makes what you do choose all the more special.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1208

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Connections

“Old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.” — Athenaeus

It’s interesting to think how we criss-cross and co-exists with other people in our lives. Small moments connect us—like a chance meeting a random event invite a friend of a friend forced us to attend. Defining moments connect us—same high school, same college.

Friends come and go. Or maybe it’s “we” who are the ones coming and going?

Surface level change is inevitable. New outfit. New haircut. New tattoo.

Deep change is a choice.

Deep choice that takes courage, faith and a sprinkle of boldness. Courage to admit when we are wrong or have messed up and commit to correct course. Faith to stick to our principles. Boldness to do what we fear and to challenge the status conformity around us.

We are still connected to who we were (through the stories we tell), but we aren’t the same.

But no matter how much we may change, there’s always room for an old friend.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1207

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Clutter

I need a studio. A place designed for maximum creativity.

Either that or I need to sell everything I own except a pillow, laptop, and underwear.

Like many, I’ve been working from home for the past year. It’s been good—there’s a lot of upsides with working remotely. There’s less time commuting. More schedule flexibility. Proximity to a full kitchen…

But my apartment doesn’t have room for an office. So I’ve crammed it all into a corner of my bedroom. Books. Music Gear. Notebooks—lots of notebooks. Art supplies.

Someone told me recently (I think it was Gabriella) that if you keep feeling the urge to re-organize a room, then the furniture and space you need. That’s definitely me right now. I think I’ve rearranged things at least twice this week so far.

Clutter is not conducive to creativity, especially when that clutter is weighing on your mind.

What is clutter? Sometimes it’s junk. Things we should have sold, donated, or thrown away years ago. But often clutter is the stuff that we like, but stuff that keeps getting in our way (physically and or mentally.) When there’s too much around us—too many choices—everything starts turning into a to-do list we haven’t gotten to yet, another shirt hanging in our overstuffed mind closet.

Are you holding on to things from your past that you no longer need and that no longer serve you?

Are you surrounding yourself with too many distractions (that are taking you away from what you are trying to focus on)?

Have your most valued things become so cluttered that you no longer see them as anything more than a hindrance?

Either get rid of it or give it the space it needs.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1206

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Live Deliberately

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”— Henri Matisse

“You live longer once you realize that any time spent being unhappy is wasted.”
— Ruth E. Renkl

A lot can happen in a year. A lot can happen in a day too, depending on the day.

But are you doing what you want to be doing?

There’s always X Y Z reasons why you think you can’t. But are those reasons worth your time?

Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

Where are my decisions taking me?

Where is my lack of decisions taking me?

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1205

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Principles are Steadfast

We are born in a transitional era. A transitional era that never stops transitioning. I wonder if people from past eras thought that about their time in the world too. Rockets to the moon. Computers. Electric guitars. Steam power. Gunpowder. The printing press.

That reminds me of the film, A Midnight in Paris, with Owen Wilson, where great artists and writers from the past pined for the better days of their past.

But just because these’s times they are a changin, doesn’t mean everything changes.

Some principles stay true:

• Be good to others.

• Always keep learning.

• Keep going after failure.

• Don’t neglect the basics—water, food, exercise, sleep, companionship.

• Be empathetic—put yourself in other people’s shoes.

• Let creativity, curiosity, wonder and joy drive you (not anger, negativity, bitterness, and hate.

• Act louder than you speak.

• Care.

These can guide you to a more meaningful life, no matter what age you are in (the past, present, or future.)

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1204

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Start Again

“Victory is sweetest when you’ve known defeat.”

Malcolm Forbes

“You will fall. And when you fall, the winner always gets up, and the loser stays down.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Failure is temporary. What happens after we fail? Time continues forward. Change gives way to something new. Because it was necessary. Because what we were doing wasn’t working.

Of course there’s always the choice to give up and dwell in the past and things we can’t change.

Life isn’t about success or failure, i’s about the attempt. To be fearless is to be willing to keep going after failure. Reframe failure as an opportunity. It sucks at the moment, but it won’t suck forever.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1203

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There is No Try

“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.”Mark Van Doren

Part of our jobs as creatives is figuring things out. Discovery and uncertainty are two sides of the same pancake. There’s rarely comfort in uncertainty, but there is excitement. The excitement from learning something new. The thrill of being resourceful or doing something yourself.

It’s one thing to be taught the idea of something, it’s another thing to come to it with your own eyes, ears and hands.

True understanding comes from hands-on experience. There’s a level of wisdom you can’t gain unless you tinker, play, explore and experiment yourself.

That’s true with design and business and coding and well—everything. Of course, it’s not about doing it all yourself, rather using DIY as an approach to learn a skill at a deeper level of compression.

It’s hard to completely get that from a book or tutorial. Teaching is a guide. It opens the door for us, but we are the ones that have to take the extra step and make the connections.

A course might save us time and shortcut our path to understanding and success, but until we get our hands dirty, so to speak, we won’t be at the level of mastery we seek yet.

Ask big questions. Observe the world.

Throw things at the wall. And try things out yourself.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1202

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