April 5, 2021•172 words
Reading time: 1 min
Every day, before leaving my home, I count 4, 7 or 12 items (depending on where I'm going) that I should have on me, to prevent myself from leaving and then later realising that I left something important at home.
The tier two packing list grew over time, from 7 items, to 10, and most recently a new group of 12 (tier three, a mask is one of them now). This is over the 'grouping limit' of the brain, and I generally have to count the items as 7+5 rather than a group of 12.
I realised this yesterday: why didn't I just write it down and stick it on the wall? I waste time counting and re-counting the last few items (because I forget them thanks to the aforementioned grouping limit) and waste cognitive effort. My initial goal with this standardised 4, 7 or 12 was so that I didn't accumulate decision fatigue, and here I am accumulating decision fatigue deciding which items I have on me.