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Apr 2015

The Pursuit of Essentialism

I have a hard time thinking when my kitchen is cluttered.

As an admitted procrastinator — something I’m trying to work on, but also not — if I have a full day’s workload in front of me and there are dishes on the counter or a carpet to be vacuumed, guess which ends up taking priority? Over time I’ve learned to appreciate it, I turn cleaning into a zen-like experience. After constantly working on thought-heavy and creative projects, the odd repetitive or menial task can be a great time to center oneself or work through opportunities. This little time-out can be hugely beneficial and pay off in spades later; when I finally do get started on my work I’ve organized a plan of attack, minimized outside distractions and can focus completely on the task at hand.

When life around me is unorganized, I am unorganized.

It’s something I’ve known for years and have spent the last 6 years trying to hone in on and learn to minimize. Minimize stress, minimize belongings, minimize work, all to maximize what little time I do have. That we all have! It was December, over the course of a couple flights, when I got around to reading a book recommended to me by one of my housemates, Joe. We’d been chatting about what was absolutely necessary in life and what isn’t. I was looking forward for my business to 2015, trying to figure out what I wanted to do this year and what I would give up in order to achieve that. Joe had begun reading “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown and based on what he’d read so far he thought I would enjoy it.

From the description of the book:

The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done.  It is not a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.

The way McKeown explains essentialism using real-word examples spurred a renewed interest in minimizing the non-essential. It’s helped me refocus on what is necessary, and more importantly, how to discern what is not (which, it turns out, is most things). Essentialism has begun to influence everything; how I work, my personal relationships, organizing my closet, grocery shopping, even nights out.

Seriously. You get one life, better make it count.

Seriously. You get one life, better make it count.

I am at the dawn of 30. This September I will be saying goodbye to my 20’s in the best way possible, building on the promise I made myself when I first went freelance back in 2013; be the absolute best me I can be. So here I am minimizing distractions, finding time for what’s important to become a healthier, happier, more productive self and to radiate that back into the world.

There will likely be something along my journey for everyone as I minimize my closet, media, mind and life. I’ll be posting on Tuesdays until I feel I’ve reached my essential.

 

  • by Brandon William Fletcher
  • 0 Comment
  • Apr 28, 2015
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