'I'm trying the world's number one productivity tip. And it's brilliant.'

Mark Zuckerberg is a pretty busy guy.

He built a community of 1.59 billion people. He runs a charity. He just had a baby. He spends his days thinking about algorithms, deciding on new social media apps to infiltrate people’s lives and wondering how to best spend his billions.

But there’s one decision he never has to make.

The Facebook founder and Our Life Overlord returned to work this week after two months paternity leave. And he shared a picture of his wardrobe. And in it: the very bland secret to his success.

Image via Facebook

Ol’ Zuck wears the exact same thing to work everyday.

Just grey t-shirts, and grey hoodies. Again and again. The unsexiest shades of grey we’ve witnessed. No one’s writing a best-seller about HIS shades of grey, but maybe they should.

Because the idea behind it is genius.

Zuckerberg wears the exact same thing everyday to eliminate having to decide what to wear. The idea being, he doesn’t waste any of his mental energy on clothing.

It’s an idea with some merit. Research shows that across the day your decision-making power diminishes.  There’s a limit to the amount of decisions our brains can capably make in a day, so if you’re wasting mental energy on fruitless things, you get what psychologists call “decision fatigue”.

By eliminating all the choices, it leaves more room for the decisions that count.

Zuckerberg is following in the footsteps of other powerful men, such as Steve Jobs, and Barack Obama.  Jobs, the late founder of Apple, wore blue jeans and a black turtleneck nearly every single day, providing him with a signature style, and saving him time in the morning.  And Barack Obama told Vanity Fair in 2012, he only wears 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.” he said.

Obama smart. Obama know things. Be like Obama, I thought.

So, I tried it.

And NOW? I am SO pro-uniform, guys. It levels out the fashion playing field of life. It eliminates decision making. If it works for school kids, why not continue it on into adulthood? (While we’re at it, can we bring back little lunch and Show n Tell?) So, buoyed by my love of the uniform, I developed a work uniform for myself.


It’s a moment I now fondly recall as my Steve Jobs days:

Jeans. Skivvy. Sneakers. Errryday.

I wore the same jeans, the same skivvy, and the same sneakers every day. My undies were all the same, too, and my socks were all the same colour so I didn’t have to worry about matching pairs BECAUSE they ALL MATCHED.

Guys, it was FANTASTIC. A revelation. Getting rid of that horrible choice of what to wear everyday was SO liberating. I sailed into the office everyday, MINUTES ahead of what I normally would be. Time-wasting conversations with my colleagues about “I LOVE your dress!” were eliminated.

But then…my workmates intervened.

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The Black Wiggle, they called me. Ouch.

So I stopped.  I retired the uniform, begrudingly.

This week on Mamamia OutLoud, Mia says it would be her worst nightmare to have to wear a uniform everyday. She likes to waft about in kimonos and rattle around in jewellery, and finds that morning decision about what to wear a very powerful thing. And for many women, it is. That moment in the morning where they select their outfit can be really joyous. It’s their way to be creative with clothes, to express themselves with colour or style or fashion.

I get that. When you’re out and about, seeing friends, going for dinner, going to an event, half the fun is in getting ready. But for the workplace? Day to day? Someone hand me a skivvy.

If it’s good enough for Zuck, if it’s one of the first things the President of the United States does everyday, it makes sense to me.  #Uniformsforlyfe

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One of our listeners sent us a Ted talk about the paradox of choice. Rather fitting for this situation:

What do you think? Are you pro or anti uniform?