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Decision making tips for SMEs: why Mark Zuckerberg always wears a grey t-shirt print Print

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What can start-ups and small business owners learn from titans like Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs?

Decision making tips for SMEs - Mark Zuckerburg

Well, fashion sense might be one. The founders of Facebook and Apple wore the same clothes everyday: a black or grey t-shirt, jeans and sneakers. Why? 

It all comes down to focus. By reducing their decisions about what they wear, they could focus more on the problems of the day. “I really want to clear my life so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve the community,” says Zuckerberg.

They are not alone.

Albert Einstein bought several versions of the same grey suit because he didn’t want to waste brainpower on choosing an outfit each morning, according to Forbes magazine.

Nor does the US President. Barak Obama told Vanity Fair magazine that “you also need to remove from your life the day¬-to¬-day problems that absorb most people for meaningful parts of their day. You’ll see I wear only grey 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.”

Obama says research shows the simple act of making decisions degrades one’s ability to make further decisions. It’s called decision fatigue. According to the Guardian newspaper, decision fatigue is a real condition where you become overloaded with so many pointless decisions that your productivity falls off a cliff. Decision fatigue hits when you spend so long wasting precious mental energy on frivolous distractions – such as what to wear or what to eat – that you stop being able to make decisions that will have a big impact on your business.

Clothes may not maketh the business – but good decision-making does. If clothes and food are a distraction perhaps you need to reduce the options.

Running a start-up or small business can often mean there are too few hours in the day. Take our time management action plan or read our 19 tips for better time management article.



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