Find Your Steve-Jobs-Black-Sweater [Not Hallmark!] Moment

In an effort to minimize my decision making, I am trying to channel Steve Jobs in as many places in my life as possible.

“Steve Jobs?!”, you say. Yes, Steve Jobs.

You will likely remember that Steve always wore the same thing – black shirt, jeans, and sneakers. He wore this outfit over and over, not because he lacked creativity, but for the exact opposite reason.

He wore the same thing every day so that he could channel his creativity — and decision making — to other parts of his day.

Instead of spending 10 minutes in the morning contemplating the weather, what was clean, etc., all of that energy could be channeled into other things.

The attire was a concrete, set expectation. Steve didn’t have to think twice about it.

How does this apply to you?

Setting expectations for yourself — and others around you — is a powerful way to minimize the amount of decisions that need to be made in a day.

Setting expectations for others isn’t particularly sexy, or flashy, but it certainly is useful.

Here’s an example:

Your colleagues need to send you information for a report that’s due today. You get two responses that are mediocre at best…and don’t hear from the third person, like usual.

Before you run screaming from the building, consider: have you told people exactly what you need? And why you need it?

It’s possible that you haven’t set people up for success. I’ve learned — often the hard way — that if I want something specific, I have to ask and show others specifically what I want.

This might mean creating a mock-up document of the information you want, in the format you want it.

It might mean creating a checklist.

You might have to walk people through the document, step-by-step….and record yourself doing this so they have a resource to refer back to if they forget.

BUT, in doing this, you take the uncertainty out of the equation for your colleagues.

You are giving them — and yourself — a black sweater by clearly setting your expectations. Expectations will give others the certainty of knowing what you want, and in turn, the freedom and energy to use their creativity and problem solving elsewhere…which is a pretty powerful thing!

Take some time to think about:

  • Where can you minimize decision making in your day?
  • Where can you minimize the decision making for others around you?


Times are weird.

Change is hard.

We are all still navigating some uncharted territory. And with that, it’s given that there are going to be mishaps along the way.

Be kind to yourself and others.

Show yourself and others kindness by setting expectations so you can move into a black-sweater-mode in at least one area of your life. Once you do, the possibilities are endless.


P.S. Want more concrete tips for setting expectations? Check this out.

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