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How to Minimize Your Life: The Unimportance of Practically Everything

Why Minimizing Your Life

Why Minimizing Your Life

What minimizing your life will bring you:

  • More Efficiency: You finally have enough time to do what’s truly important.
  • More Time: Owning and doing things carry high costs. Doing less frees up your time to focus on the essential few.
  • Less Stress: No more overloaded schedules, running from one place to the next, always rushing.
  • Better Health: having and doing less calms your mind and brings clarity.
  • Freedom: things don’t own you anymore, you only own things you love. 

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How to Minimize Your Life: The Unimportance of Practically Everything

How to Minimize Your Life: The Unimportance of Practically Everything

https://www.dansilvestre.com/minimize-your-life/

dansilvestre.com

7

Key Ideas

Minimalizing Your Life

To minimize your life is choosing to live by design, not by default. You decide where to allocate your time, focus, and efforts.

Socrates

Socrates

“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”

Why Minimizing Your Life

What minimizing your life will bring you:

  • More Efficiency: You finally have enough time to do what’s truly important.
  • More Time: Owning and doing things carry high costs. Doing less frees up your time to focus on the essential few.
  • Less Stress: No more overloaded schedules, running from one place to the next, always rushing.
  • Better Health: having and doing less calms your mind and brings clarity.
  • Freedom: things don’t own you anymore, you only own things you love. 

How to Minimize Your Life

  1. Decide what’s unimportant: cover the low priorities of your life. You might discover you are focusing on the wrong priorities and cluttering your brain and wasting your time.
  2. Know what’s important: move to what’s really important to you. These are the things you love, bringing you joy.
  3. Question everything, constantly: adopt a new mentally of simplification, questioning yourself constantly if you are allocating your time, attention, and money, wisely.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

“Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.”

Stephen Covey

Stephen Covey

“Anything less than a conscious commitment to the important is an unconscious commitment to the unimportant.” 

Cal Newport

Cal Newport

"Clarity about what matters provides clarity about what does not.”

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

What's Most Important To You
Before you can set your priorities, you need to figure out exactly what they are. 

"You have limited time and energy, so you need to determine what your top two priorities are at any giv...

Create An Action Plan

Take a few moments to create a plan of where you would like to see yourself in the next couple of months or years. 

Align those dreams with your priorities to help you focus on making your wishes come true. 

Designate Specific Time Slots For Tasks

It's important to remember to set time aside for things that truly matter to you. 

Whatever it is, you won't feel fulfilled if you constantly put other things before your own happiness.

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Oliver Emberton
"The secret to mastering your time is to systematically focus on importance and suppress urgency."
Oliver Emberton
Important vs. urgent tasks
  • Important tasks are things that contribute to your long-term mission, values, and goals.
  • Urgent tasks are tasks that have to be dealt with immediately: phone calls, urgent deadlines, and situations where you have to respond quickly.

Sometimes important tasks stare you right in the face, but you neglect them and respond to urgent but unimportant things.

Don't be available all the time

Time, not money, is your most valuable asset. Invest your asset:

  • Allocate time to each task you need to get done every day. 
  • Each task of the day should be attainable, realistic, and time-bound. And it should advance your goals for the day, week or month.
  • Don't get distracted by everything others expect you to do.

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The new law of productivity

High-Quality Work Produced = (Time Spent) x (Intensity of Focus)

Deep work vs. Shallow work
  • Deep work: Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. Creates value.
  • Shallow work: Noncognitively demanding, logistical-style tasks, often performed while distracted. Doesn't create value.
4 philosophies to integrate Deep Work into your life
  • Monastic: maximize Deep Work by minimizing or removing shallow obligations. Isolate yourself for long periods of time without distractions; no shallow work allowed
  • Bimodal: divide your time into some clearly defined stretches to deep pursuits and leave the rest open to everything else. Reserve a few consecutive days when you will be working like a monastic. You need at least one day a week
  • Rhythmic: involves creating a routine where you define a specific time period — ideally three to four hours every day — that you can devote to Deep Work
  • Journalistic: alternate your day between deep and shallow work as it fits your blocks of time. Not recommended to try out first.

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The "frog"

It is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don't do something about it.

It is also the one task that can have the greatest positiv...

Brian Tracy
Brian Tracy

"One of the very worst uses of time is to do something very well that need not be done at all".

The ABCDE prioritization approach
  • A items : Things you must do, which will have a serious positive or negative consequence.
  • B items : Things you should do, that have minor consequences.
  • C items : Things that are nice to do but don’t have any real consequences when they’re done.
  • D items : Things to delegate so you can free up more time to do A tasks.
  • E items : Things to eliminate. Generally stuff you do out of habit.
Cluttered digital lives
Cluttered digital lives

If people's physical lives were anywhere near as cluttered as their digital lives, their kitchen sinks would be full of dishes, their closets would be jammed, and their houses would be in chaos.

Become a Digital Minimalist

We can reclaim our time and our attention. Unlike a physical space, we can wipe the slate clean in our digital environment.

If you clear apps from your phone, nothing will happen. You can always reinstall the ones you use.

Digital Declutter
  • Clear your browser history.
  • Unsubscribe from newsletters, podcasts, blogs, and anything else you consume.
  • Delete all the apps that are currently on your phone and desktop or laptop (as long as you don’t have to buy a new version of anything).

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Main views of the philosophy of minimalism
  • Less is More.
  • Eliminate the Unessential.
  • Live in the Moment.
  • Organize your time and set mea...
Seneca

“As long as you live, keep learning how to live.”

Seneca
A personal Philosophy

We all need personal philosophy in life or we risk wandering and responding to random stimuli and information with little or no impact on our long-term goals.

Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius

“You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.”

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The Planning Fallacy

We all have busy schedules, but we are incorrectly planning our day around the time we have, not around priorities.

Our estimates on how long certain tasks will take are almost always ...

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
“What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important."
The 4 Kinds of Priorities

The Decision Matrix on how to approach tasks has 4 quadrants:

  • Quadrant 1: The Urgent Problems which are important.
  • Quadrant 2: Not Urgent but important tasks
  • Quadrant 3: Urgent but not really important
  • Quadrant  4: Distractions and time-wasting tasks. 

Prioritize the important (Quadrant 2) to attain maximum benefit from your work.

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Brian Tracy

Time management is not a peripheral activity or skill. It is the core skill upon which everything else in life de..."

Brian Tracy
Work Around Your Energy Levels

Productivity is directly related to your energy level.

Find your most productive hours — the time of your peak energy — and schedule Deep Work for those periods. Do low-value and low-energy tasks (also known as shallow work), such as responding to emails or unimportant meetings, in between those hours.

Plan Your Day the Night Before

Before going to bed, spend 5 minutes writing your to-do list for the next day. These tasks should help you move towards your professional and personal goals.

You’ll be better prepared mentally for the challenges ahead before waking up and there won’t be any room for procrastination in the morning. As a result, you’ll work faster and smoother than ever before.

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There are no productivity hacks
There are no productivity hacks

Habits and work systems can produce the best return on your time.

Getting more work done is about knowing what to do, when to do it, and how to get it done in order to maxi...

Unimportant tasks are really just distractions

Urgent but unimportant tasks = distractions.

Urgent tasks put us into constant “reply mode.” Important work is related to planned tasks that move us closer to our goals.

Interruptions break your flow

Anytime you are pulled away from your tasks, it takes time to readjust to them when you jump back in (sometimes it can take up to 25 minutes).

Interruptions (notifications, loud noises, social media, checking email etc.) harm your concentration.

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