Sunday, July 19, 2009
Chapter 3 - Choosing the Essential & Simplifying.
Sorry about the delay… busy weekend… here’s chapter 3.
“In this chapter, we’ll explore Principle 2, Choosing the Essential, and then Principle 3, Simplifying. Choosing the essential is the key to simplifying—you have to choose the essential before you simplify, or you’re just cutting things out without ensuring that you’re keeping the important things.”
The importance of the order of these two principles reminds me of writing a term paper with a page limit (say: 7 pages). If you’re at 8 ½ pages, you’ve got to lose ½ a page of material. Do you then just go through the paper randomly deleting sentences??? No! Certainly not. You read through the paper and remove that which is not essential.
The question is, “How do you know the essential?”
1. What are your values? (Values = What is important to you).
2. What are your goals? (What do you want to achieve in life, this year, this month, this week, etc?)?
3. What do you love?
4. What is important to you?
5. What has the biggest impact?
6. What has the most long-term impact?
7. Needs VS wants.
8. Eliminate the non-essential (this is going from what you know you don’t need and erasing that first, and continuing until you find what is essential).
9. Continual editing process. (Most of the time you don’t pare things all the way down to the essentials on the your first try. Take another look in a week or two and eliminate more things).
How to apply the Questions: Asking questions concerning what is essential in the long & short terms is always helpful. The key is to actually take time (hours, days, or whatever is necessary) to stop and think from a broader perspective. Actually ask the above questions about each item. You’ll spend less time doing the non-essential and more time doing the things you love.
Areas to Apply the Questions:
1. Life commitments (reduce your nonessential commitments).
2. Yearly goals (pick 1 or 2 goals at the most).
3. Work projects and tasks.
5. Finances—this one is a key to a solid future. You must determine what your financial priorities are, especially in respect to the Word of God, and then adjust your expenditures accordingly.
6. Clutter—eliminate clutter by starting with the needs VS wants question. You can eventually eliminate the junk and just keep the stuff you use and love.
7. Regular Review.
Principle 3 – Simplifying—eliminating the nonessential.
“Once you’ve identified the essential, the task of simplifying is theoretically easy—you just have to eliminate all the nonessential. However, in practice this isn’t always easy, although it does get less difficult the more you do it.
With your task list, you start by eliminating things that aren’t really important, delegating other tasks that can be done by coworkers, and finally postponing assignments that do not need to be done today.”
You MUST be committed to ONLY accepting a task that is “un-get-aroundable” or essential! Otherwise you are allowing other people to control your life and dictate your time.
May we all become better at choosing the essential and simplifying!