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What is Essentialism and How You Can Benefit from It

Building Daily Routines

Find out what is essential to you, and build them into your daily routines. Your routines will drive you towards accomplishing what you want to accomplish.

If you run around doing everyone else's work, you will not be able to achieve anything for yourself.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

What is Essentialism and How You Can Benefit from It

What is Essentialism and How You Can Benefit from It

https://www.lifehack.org/870661/essentialism-definition

lifehack.org

6

Key Ideas

Essentialism

Essentialism is not the same as minimalism, which states that "less is more." Essentialism is defined as "Less but better."

It helps you navigate a distracting world by focusing on things that are important to you. If something is not important, you eliminate it.

Don't Overcommit

One of the many reasons we feel so overwhelmed is because we say yes to far too many things. It leaves you in a difficult place of committing to something you didn't want in the first place.

It's better to say, "let me get back to you".

Keep Your Priorities In Sight

Focus on a single "priority," not on multiple "priorities." The key to living an essential life is understanding what your priority is. Is it your family? Your career? Your hobby?

You will know your real priority once you know what you want out of life.

Being In Control Of Your Day

Because essentialism reduces your commitments to only the essential, it puts you in control of your day.

Many people allow others to take control of their day, e.g., colleagues requesting them to do this or that. When you know what is important to you, your day becomes your day. This involves having to say "no" more than you say yes. In time, others will also start to respect your time more. You will get to accomplish your priority in higher quality, which earns you more respect than trying to do everything.

Taking Small Consistent Steps

Anything you want to achieve is made up of small steps that you consistently take over time.

If you want to write a daily journal, it is better to set a small goal of five sentences per day, than to believe that you have to write a thousand or more words per day. Over a week, you may not have much to show, but over many years, you will have enough for a novel.

Building Daily Routines

Find out what is essential to you, and build them into your daily routines. Your routines will drive you towards accomplishing what you want to accomplish.

If you run around doing everyone else's work, you will not be able to achieve anything for yourself.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

“Work and rest are actually partners. They are like different parts of a wave. You can’t have the high without the lo..."
Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
Why we don't take time off

  • We think more work should equal more output: we see productivity not as doing more with less. But simply doing more.
  • We’re afraid of being “left behind”:  not only could we miss out on some important conversation, but we worry that we’ll be left behind.
  • Work has become a larger part of our identity: we feel personally connected to the work we do. Taking time away opens up all sorts of questions that can be hard to face. 

Deliberate rest

It is a play on the term “deliberate practice” and it means engaging with restful activities that are often vigorous and mentally engaging.

It is not a continuation of work, but a way to find activities that let you recharge from your workday, while still being mentally productive.

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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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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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Living the 80/20 Life

The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto principle, states that we need to focus on the few things that get us the most benefit.

For a lot of events, approximately 80% of the effects c...

The Most Important Tasks (MITs)

Choose three Most Important Tasks for each day, and focus completely on gettting them done within a specific time.

If you add more than three, and you might not get them all done. By limiting yourself to a small number of things, you force yourself to focus only on the essential.

Success List

Instead of following a to-do list, make a shorter one called "success list". Why make one?

  • It aims you in a specific direction
  • It is an organized directive.

If your to-do list contains everything, then it’s probably taking you everywhere but where you really want to go.

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Minimalist principles to apply to work
  • Declutter your workspace, including your computer;
  • Identify the essential and say no to unnecessary activities;
  • Whatever you do,
Minimalism
Minimalism

It means focusing on and committing to the fundamentals, instead of wasting time, money, or energy on details.

A minimalistic approach can be applied to consumption, goals,...

The Diderot Effect

Obtaining a new possession often creates a spiral of consumption which leads you to acquire more new things.

As a result, we end up buying things that our previous selves never needed to feel happy or fulfilled.

The paradox of choice

When it comes to getting things done, options aren’t always a good thing.

When everything is a possibility, it actually becomes harder to make the right choice. Meanwhile, when we place a constraint on ourselves, it can become much easier to get something done.

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Get an early start on the day

Early hours are important because they tend to be free of most distractions and give you an opportunity to get focused

An early start will allow you to squeeze in more time...

Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Breakfast is a crucial part of getting a strong start each day, especially if your morning routine includes exercise. Add a balanced, protein-rich breakfast to your routine and reap the health benefits, such as:
  • Balanced blood sugar levels, which helps maintain your energy throughout the day
  • Improved short-term memory and mood
  • Faster recovery and renewed energy after workouts
Better use of the commute to work

Some of the ways you can be productive during your commute include:

  • Catching up on podcasts or listening to business-related audio books
  • Hands-free calling to get a head start on critical or time-sensitive issues
  • Reading and responding to emails (for those who use public transit)
  • Researching and preparing for presentations

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Do Mental Math

It will make your brain sharper and will allow you to boost your memory as well.

For example, if you are at a store purchasing something, try to calculate the bill by adding...

Play Rhyming Games

Whenever you see or hear a complex word, try to recall as many rhyming words as possible.

This will help you in the long run by allowing you to recall things faster.

Play Around With Words

Whenever you discover a new word, try to play around with it. Recall the synonyms associated with it, recall any possible verbs or adverbs, or maybe even try to recall similar sounding words.

It can go a long way in boosting your memory.

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Ruthless prioritization

It means deciding not to do things you'd really like to do. It also means deciding what's the most important task even when everything on your list feels crucial.

But if you can prioritize...

Consolidate All of Your Tasks Into a Single Source

To-dos arrive from a variety of sources. Your boss sends you an email, you get a Slack message from IT, a bill arrives in the mail, or a coworker asks for a favor in the hallway.

In order to prioritize your task list efficiently, you need a master to-do list that contains all of the tasks you need to prioritize and complete from all of those sources.

Analyze Your Task List

Go through your list, review each task, and decide what you want to do with it. You have 4 options:

  • Do: complete the task now
  • Defer: complete it later
  • Delegate: assign it to someone else
  • Delete: remove it from your list

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Decision Fatigue

Is the decline in the quality of decisions that are made by a person after many decisions have been made in a row.

 Just like your muscles tiring out after a long cardio work...

Decision Fatigue in Your Life

It explains why you may start to look for shortcuts in your decision making throughout the day. You may even decide to give up and do nothing when you are faced with a decision.

Having a routine limits the number of decisions you have to make each day, which increases your odds of doing the right thing.

Recover from Decision Fatigue
  • Make your most important decisions in the morning.
  • For the lower priority things, go for the simpler option.
  • For daily decisions, plan them the night before.
  • Don’t make any decisions when you’re hungry.
  • Limit and simplify your choices: where and what to eat, what to wear, etc.
  • Aim for “good enough” instead of perfection.
  • Don’t make decisions in places that are full of distractions.
  • Focus on making decisions for items on your to-do list only.