Every morning, before starting my day, my mind subconsciously makes a small list of things, or as I like to say it variables. They range from insignificant items like ‘what will I be having in lunch?’ to more significant ones like ‘write a blog post’, or ‘go to college’. Either ways, I feel that this is a direct consequence of the ever busy modern life.
I wonder if this is how humans have always been. Did we have the same kind of worries 2000 years ago? Did our days even function remotely to how they do now? More research is pending (added to my infinitely long to-do list), but regardless it seems rather unnatural to be worrying about so many things without even trying.
I’d say that it’s okay to worry about the greater complexities in life, that kind of worry is more conscious. You almost always know that you’re worrying about something, be it passing that exam, getting that job interview, or even sending that email. But the kind of variables we worry about constantly and subconsciously is what actually worries me (see what I did there? :P).
Can we sought a life in which we can eliminate these variables? If not, at-least try to reduce them to the bare minimum? Well, we can try.
Eliminate your backlogs, filter your to-do lists, finish your pending tasks, and start with a clean fresh slate. Take out a couple of days to do this. It’s not as easy as it appears to be. There’s a lot of taxing material we must offload from our brains and delegate it elsewhere.
But that is not enough. We need to be ruthless. Ruthless in our filtering, and ruthless in elimination. Only the besets of the best tasks should actually be done, everything else must simply be removed. This kind of mindset is hard to acquire, and I for one have been trying hard to get better at being ruthless, for my time is precious and I’d rather have fun playing video games than doing tasks which are irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.
I already started off by cleaning and removing everything unnecessary from my room. I ruthlessly removed anything I hadn’t used in the past 6 months. There’s always that feeling of ’what if’, and that is when I ask how expensive that item is, and how useful it is. I removed all my 5 year old colouring pencils, because if I truly needed it, it would cost me almost nothing to get a new pack. If I didn’t really need it, then I could make do with sketch pens instead.
I now plan to do the following:
- Reach ‘Inbox Zero’ (empty email inbox) - and reply to every pending email/message - Read/remove all items from ‘Pocket’
- Categorise all my notes/documents on dropbox and keep - Remove all redundant crap from my PC - Backup and deduplicate memories from all my devices - Filter/check all my chrome bookmarks
This seems like a one day job, but I know that this will take me well over a couple of weeks to reach a clean slate. And that is why, I’m not going for the best solution, but rather for an approximately/sub-optimal solution.
Once I’m done with all of that, I need to make a workflow/web-app/cli-app/something which helps me maintain those level of variables, for variables are the only thing you need to control.