It's been well-documented that top performers both past and present are highly ritualized individuals. Steve Jobs wore the black turtle neck, Charles Dickens adhered to a daily walk, Mark Zuckerberg is normally in a t-shirt, and presidents often rotate a few suits.
And rightfully so, being a top performer comes with a lot of responsibility which requires a plethora of mental bandwidth. Suffice to say, being a top performer comes with a requirement to focus on the minute details of life.
While you probably have a plan for your morning routines, daily meditation, and exercising--do you have a plan for lunch?
In a recent Atlantic article highlighting people who ate the same meal every day, I was reminded not only why I adhere to this, but also why it's a critical piece for anyone looking to improve their productivity.
Here are three critical reasons:
1.Conserving mental energy for big decisions
Every morning, we start the day with a full battery of mental energy. And much like a smartphone gradually goes down over the course of a day of usage, our brains fall under the same umbrella.
Everything you do comes with a cost. Some things are more expensive than others, but nevertheless, you are paying for it. Wasting mental energy on things such as what to eat for lunch is precious fuel that is being taken away from being able to make high-quality decisions.
As the executive of both your life and business, it's imperative to adopt the same philosophy that Jeff Bezos states as his "primary job each day as a senior executive being to make a small number of high-quality decisions."
To ensure you have enough mental fuel in the tank when it's time to perform, craft out a nutrient-dense lunch. Just in case this seems too militant for your life, create two go-to meals and rotate them every other day.
2.Having less stress and more peace of mind
Over the years, I've routinely noticed that individuals I've consulted with who were trying to adopt a healthier eating regimen were prone to turn nutrition into an added stressor (especially the type A individuals).
Stressing about food is even more of a probability with the increase of social media and seemingly new (and often times contradictory) advice being dished out. Combining this with the rapidly-moving society we live in, finding areas for simplicity and the mundane are critical to your vitality and productivity.
When you can put aspects of your health on auto-pilot, you're solidifying a huge domino that affects every facet of your life. Unexpected issues will arise with your product, customers may complain, deals can fall through at the last moment--all causing stress and draining your daily energy meter. While you can't control those unexpected stressors, you can mitigate other areas such as your lunch to help even it out.
While reducing decision fatigue through rotating outfits and optimizing morning routines are beneficial, don't overlook mundane activities such as eating the same lunch. The smallest habits often lead to the biggest breakthroughs.