Why doing things in real time is slowing you down

There are two types of people in the world; those who know what they are going to wear a week in advance, and those who pick out clothes every morning.

These small decisions that we make every day, such as what to wear, what to eat and what to do after work may seem insignificant, but if you do them in real time they actually slow you down.

Here’s how.

Every decision takes time, and the later you leave the decision the longer it takes.

Take this example: what takes longer – deciding what to eat for lunch when you’ve already left the office on your lunch break and your stomach is rumbling, or deciding the day before as you go to bed?

I don’t know about you, but for me, deciding what to eat when it’s actually lunchtime is the worst – you’re hungry, on the clock, and everything smells and looks good, but has a massive queue.

By the time you’ve bought it and decided where you want to eat it, half your lunch break is gone and you are stressed.

Deciding the night before, or even when you get to work in the morning means you can pick up that restaurant’s loyalty card and pack it in your bag, decide what you want from the menu and go straight there when it’s time for lunch.

In my case, Sunday Phoebe makes the majority of the decisions for the week – Sunday Phoebe has just been to church so she’s rested, rational and prayed up.

Albert Einstein, Barack Obama and Steve Jobs all made the decision to wear the similar outfits from day to day to reduce decision fatigue. I’m taking my lead from them.


When you understand how precious your time is, you won’t want to waste it. 

Have you ever been on hold to a mobile phone company? If you have you’ll understand the frustration of having your time wasted. We are so intolerant to people wasting our time, but so OK with wasting our own *monkey covering eyes emoji*.

Every time you get your camera out, set up the lighting and take a picture of ONE THING for your blog then put it away again, your wasting your time. But when you spend two hours taking pictures for your next ten blog posts, you’re being smart with your time.

Instead of randomly deciding to upload a picture to Instagram, thinking of a caption, thinking about which hashtags to use, and posting it then and there, spend two hours on a Saturday picking which pictures to post the following week, writing captions one after another, copy and pasting hashtags from a saved document and schedule them using later.


Automation is your team in the beginning 

Recently blogger and influencer Mattie James (y’all already know I stan for her) was talking on Periscope about the three things you’re lacking that are causing you to burn out, one of them was delegation.

She was saying it’s not an achievement to do everything ourselves, it’s more of an achievement if we bring people with the correct skills together and collaborate.

I have to admit I totally switched off at that point and felt that that section wasn’t for me, I don’t have a team to delegate to… yet (I probably started re-doing my hair or something).

But then she said something so powerful – automation is your team at the beginning. Let your buddies later and Tweetdeck and Facebook scheduling tools do the work for you – tell them what you want them to do and when, and let them post your social media posts while you get on with creating new content.


10 things I refuse to do in real time

Decide what and where to eat (especially with a group)

Post my articles to social media

Publish blog posts

Decide what to blog about

Decide when to wash my hair

Decide what to wear

Decide what time to leave the office for lunch

Decide what to do after I’ve finished work

Decide when to work out

Choose a hairstyle for the day


Further reading:

Do you suffer from decision fatigue? – The New York Times Magazine

Steve Jobs Always Dressed Exactly the Same. Here’s Who Else Does – Forbes


Do you plan your week ahead of time? Let me know in the comments. 

6 thoughts on “Why doing things in real time is slowing you down

  1. Hannah Ajala says:

    Great read! I do thing it’s fun to be spontaneous and not plan life too much, but I guess it’s all about moderation. Planning outfits the night before is a big yes for me! I may go back to planning them weekly after sorting out my wardrobe!


    • Phoebe Parke says:

      Thanks so much for reading! It can be a real struggle but I’ve found it completely changed my mood and productivity!


  2. cmarquis91 says:

    Loved the post although I am totally not like this. I never pick clothes out to wear, I never plan where to eat lunch or what to eat for lunch, and I basically don’t plan anything unless it’s a trip or something extremely important. I tend to find if I pick an outfit out the next day I don’t want to wear it and take more time trying to find something else to wear than if I would have just got up and grabbed something out of my closet. Different strokes for different folks as the saying goes though.

    Liked by 1 person

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