Laziness and a lack of fashion sense might not be the only reason why Mark Zuckerberg wears the same grey T-shirt every day — it could also be a sign of genius, according to psychologist Oliver Burkeman, who has studied the habit of genius.
During a public Facebook Q&A session in Menlo Park, someone asked Mark the important question of why he wears the same grey t-shirt every day.
“I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community.”
“I’m in this really lucky position, where I get to wake up every day and help serve more than a billion people. And I feel like I’m not doing my job if I spend any of my energy on things that are silly or frivolous about my life.”
And yes, “decision fatigue” is real, and it’s common among successful people. To reduce the decisions they have to make on unnecessary things, these people basically adopt some standards and one thing that’s incredibly common among them is that they wear the same thing every day. Well, this is certainly an act of genius.
Psychologist Oliver Burkeman also explains that sticking to a very fixed routine can help a mind focus on the more important issues:
“It was William James […] who best articulated the mechanism by which a strict routine might help unleash the imagination. Only by rendering many aspects of daily life automatic and habitual, he argued, could we “free our minds to advance to really interesting fields of action”.
“Subsequent findings about “cognitive bandwidth” and the limitations of willpower have largely substantiated James’s hunch: if you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede your capacity to do the work.”
Remember Steve Jobs? He wore black turtlenecks almost every day of the year. Barack Obama – a blue or gray suit. And they all did it for one reason – to pare down decisions.
Albert Einstein, too, had multiple versions of the same suit. And Christopher Nolan, the film director told the New York Times that it was “a waste of energy to choose anew what to wear each day.” [Mirror]
Do you own multiple versions of the same shirt, too?