It seems everybody wants more time.
We read books on getting things done.
We stress ourselves out with multi-tasking.
We complain to anyone who’ll listen that we’re so awfully busy.
And we wish we had more energy.
We load up on caffeine and sugar to get through the day.
We don’t let ourselves stop for fear we won’t be able to start up again.
But there’s a simpler way to add minutes or hours to our days and energy to our lives. How?
Get rid of stuff.
Here’s why, and how to do it.
Things = Time And Energy
It’s obvious that things = space.
The more stuff you have, the less free space you have.
A cluttered environment is like a page without paragraphs or margins. It looks ugly and it’s stressful to navigate.
Less obvious is that things = time and energy.
Time and energy to buy; to store; to put away, or alternatively, to trip over; to look for; to shop for when lost amid the clutter; to move around when looking for other things; to feel irritated about; to evaluate when trying to find room for new things; to loathe when friends come over and see a mess; to dust; to feel guilty about not dusting; to create mental clutter; to deny us a place of calm at the end of the day; to undermine a sense of order in our lives.
In short, things cost much more than the dollars we spend to buy them.
If we use them and/or love them, then that cost is probably justified. Loved, beautiful, useful things earn their place in our lives and homes.
But everything else – every ill-fitting sweater in the closet, every rarely-used gadget in the kitchen, every dust-gathering ornament in the living area – costs you more than it gives you. It costs you space, time and energy.
How To Have Less Stuff, And More Time And Energy
Reminding yourself about the true cost of stuff is like applying a reality filter when you look at the things in your life. It will help you make smart, quick decisions about what to keep and what to lose.
- When considering what you should purchase, remind yourself that Things = Time and Energy. If you don’t need it or love it, don’t buy it.
- When considering what you should keep, remind yourself that Things = Time and Energy. Whenever you spot something in your home that you don’t need or love, donate or discard it.
As you free yourself of things, you’ll free up time and energy for your real priorities in life – like family, relationships, health, and goals.
One caveat, though. Whatever you do with your newfound time and energy, don’t spend it shopping.
Image by Aaron Geller