Be More Productive by Limiting Your Choices


Limiting Choice

The more choices you have, the longer you spend deciding what you want. Limiting your choices makes it easier to make decisions. Therefore you are more efficient.

What to do about choice?

  • Pick out what you are going to wear to work the night before.
  • Only wear solid colors or certain colors.
  • Establish a weekly dinner menu.
  • Eat the same thing for breakfast every morning.
  • Create a standard grocery shopping list.
  • Pay all your bills in the same method.
The more choices you have, the longer you spend deciding what you want. Click To Tweet

Finally, consider cutting back on time spent mulling over decisions and move on to the next thing.


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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. Janet Barclay on July 5, 2021 at 9:51 am

    I’ve always struggled with making decisions and devour everything I can read on the subject. I love that your solutions are very simple!

    • Janet Schiesl on July 5, 2021 at 7:59 pm

      If you cut down on decisions that you make every day (like what to eat for breakfast), I think you save up your super powers for the more important decisions.

  2. Hazel Thornton on July 5, 2021 at 10:48 am

    Right? Ugh! Have you read The Paradox of Choice, by Barry Schwartz?

    • Janet Schiesl on July 5, 2021 at 7:59 pm

      I have not. I’ll put it on my reading list. Thanks.

  3. Margarita Ibbott on July 5, 2021 at 11:33 am

    I have to say, I love a bit of variety in my wardrobe but my mother and sister are strictly white, black and grey ladies. Makes me crazy. I do love paying bills via credit card to accumulate points and know what day it will be withdrawn every month. Great tips!

    • Janet Schiesl on July 5, 2021 at 8:02 pm

      I think paying bills that same way makes it less complicated and less like to make mistakes.
      I have often thought and even tried to convert myself to a capsule wardrobe. I’m not there yet, but know that most of my clothes are in the navy blue family.

  4. Lisa Tonjes Moritz on July 6, 2021 at 2:05 pm

    Love this! So simple and so true.

    • Janet Schiesl on July 9, 2021 at 3:41 am

      Thanks Lisa. Always trying to improve productivity.

  5. Amy on July 6, 2021 at 2:49 pm

    Great list Janet! I like my small wardrobe, meal plan, and certain tasks on specific days. Anything that helps me to save my brain power for the more important stuff.

    • Janet Schiesl on July 9, 2021 at 3:43 am

      Yes, the less decisions the better and the less you have to communicate information to other people too.

  6. Linda Samuels on July 6, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    This is so true- fewer choices make decision-making easier. Clothing is an interesting one. When I travel, I pack fewer clothes because I can’t take everything with me. But what’s fascinating is how much simpler getting dressed becomes when there are fewer items to chose from.

    • Janet Schiesl on July 9, 2021 at 3:46 am

      I agree Linda. I like having clothing options, but I have been moving towards a more color-focused wardrobe, so I have fewer colors in my closet. Now when I’m putting together an outfit everything goes together. Almost everything in my closet in white, gray, blue or green.

  7. Lisa Gessert on July 6, 2021 at 5:49 pm

    Excellent post! Great advice and preparing things the night before is crucial!!! Thanks!

    • Janet Schiesl on July 9, 2021 at 3:48 am

      Yes. That tip saves so much time in the morning when a lot of us or not 100% awake and don’t make the best decisions.

  8. Julie Bestry on July 7, 2021 at 4:59 pm

    You are SO right! There’s a famous expression I’ve heard ever since I became a professional organizer, “The overwhelmed mind says no.” I tell my clients my own version of that, “The overwhelmed mind says no, or the overwhelmed mind says nothing.” In other words, it either takes too long to make a decision when there are too many choices, or no choice gets made at all. I eat the same thing for breakfast and most lunches so I don’t have to count the carbs. (I have diabetes, and the tradeoff choices waste a lot of time.) I have a “uniform” for my work clothes, and I have a particular style of casual clothes that means I don’t wear patterns and I have several (OK, zillions) of tops in the same style but different colors that will coordinate with just about all my bottoms, whether pants, skorts, or skirts. It makes dressing or packing so much easier!

    • Janet Schiesl on July 9, 2021 at 3:51 am

      I also have a work uniform. It makes getting dressed much more efficient, but I do get tired of wearing the same thing all the time. A little rebellious. A lot of diet advice says to eat the same thing for the same reason you stated. You don’t have to think about it.

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