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June 15, 2024 5 mins

Go with what works, again and again

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
Welcome to Before Breakfast, a production of iHeartRadio.

Speaker 2 (00:08):
Good Morning. This is Laura. Welcome to the Before Breakfast podcast.
Today's tip is that novelty can be great, but it
is not obligatory. When you find something that works, you
can absolutely repeat it and there is no need to

feel bad about this at all. So I hear from
the wordle fans in my life that the puzzles tend
to be harder when there is a repeated letter. Somehow,
it is easier to guess a five letter word with
five different letters than it is to guess a five

letter word that only contains three or four different letters.
So ledge is harder to guess than lodge, and sleep
is harder than slept. Our brains just forget that repetition
is an option. I've noticed that we can be slow
to recognize opportunities for repetition in other aspects of life too.

We feel like we have to do something new every time.
But when you are racking your brain to come up
with an option, it's worth considering whether you can just
do something again. Anytime you take food to someone who
had a new baby, you can take the same meal.
You can make the same meals for your own family

again and again too. You can wear the same outfit
for every job interview and the same dress for every
black tie event. If you want a white duvet cover
in two bedrooms, you don't have to find two different
douvet covers. Just order two of the same duvet cover,

one for each. You can use the same basic structure
for every thank you note and the same fun fact
every time you have to introduce yourself. We can get
distracted by arguing about whether anyone can have it all.
I will leave those questions to you, But what I

can tell you is that a key strategy for leading
a full life is to decide where to direct your
time and energy and where not to. You can free
up mental energy by deciding that not everything is worth
the bother. For instance, you can decide that you will

never spend another moment flipping through cookbooks or meal planning blogs.
If you are in charge of feeding your family, you
can decide that every Sunday is salad, every Monday is sandwiches,
Every Tuesday is tacos, Every Wednesday is pasta. Every Thursday
is a smorgasboard of whatever is left from the week.

Every Friday is homemade pizza every Saturday is burgers. Meal
planning is now checked off your to do list forever,
and grocery shopping and cooking just got more efficient now.
Of course, if you are inspired to make chicken chili
or grilled salmon or flank steak one night, that's great,
go for it. You can also order in or go

out sometimes to spice things up, but you never have
to consider what's for dinner again. You can just repeat it.
You can repeat your clothes as well. All winter long.
I cycle through a handful of cowl neck sweaters and
dark washed jeans. If I'm going somewhere that involves business clothes,

I tend to wear those cowl neck sweaters with dressy
black pants and heels. It's the same thing. I Am
never going to get excited about fashion, So I found
something that looks reasonable on me, and I just wear
it again and again. Now I am not suggesting that
you make your life so repetitive that it is boring.

I am saying that if you don't find it gratifying
to search for multiple white duvet covers for different rooms,
or to choose a different outfit for every party, then
you don't have to. You can save your time and
attention for choices that do matter to you by repeating
choices that you are not interested in. In the meantime,

this is Laura. Thanks for listening, and here's to making
the most of our time.

Speaker 1 (04:45):
Hey, everybody, I'd love to hear from you. You can
send me your tips, your questions, or anything else. Just
connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at before
Breakfast pod. That's b the number four than breakfast pod.
You can also shoot me an email at before Breakfast

Podcasts at iHeartMedia dot com that before Breakfast is spelled
out with all the letters. Thanks so much. Should I
look forward to staying in touch. Before Breakfast is a
production of iHeartRadio. For more podcasts from iHeartRadio, visit the
iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to your

favorite shows.

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Laura Vanderkam

Laura Vanderkam

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