Complexity is the curse of modern living so simplification is the antidote.
The details, chores, objects, responsibilities that accumulate in modern family life can and does become overwhelming. Yet the busier we are, the less likely we are to ever dare question the validity of the existence of much of what makes up our daily lives.
Without questioning what makes up our daily existence, much can take on a feeling of being essential merely by default of existing.
Intro to the 80/20 Process
The best process I have come across for decluttering is the 80/20 process. This is the application of the 80-20 rule (a.k.a. The Pareto principle) which states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
Essentially speaking, twenty percent of what exists in your life details brings the majority of the effects, leaving eighty percent that is doing diddly squat for you. Yet we spend so much energy maintaining all of the stuff. Considering that eighty percent is making very little positive impact for us, it makes great sense to cut it out.
Key high impact changes to consider:
- What are the 80% of books, DVDs, CDs, clothes, household paperwork that you rarely if ever use?
- What 20% of clients are causing 80% of your hassle at work?
- What 20% of your work activity is resulting in your 80% effective output?
- What 20% of your spare time activities brings your 80% feeling of a sense of achievement?
- What 20% of your time with your kids brings 80% of their happiness and thus best memories with you?
- What 20% of what you say to your wife brings 80% of her sincerest and brightest smiles?
The list is not exhaustive by any means and can include nearly every aspect of your life. This sort of quick and easy analysis can bring massive insight into how much of what we assume is essential is actually just getting in our way.
Learn to be completely decisive, remembering that decisiveness is defined by our ability to cut away anything that is an obstacle to achieving our goals. The goal is clarity, mental calm, focus, family harmony. With such a goal the potential for high impact positive change is enormous so be brutal in your cutting.
A Life-Changing Habit
This process can totally transform your life by helping you become consciously aware of where your efforts make the best effect.
This in turn empowers you to use your time and energy so well that it will free up more time for the stuff you enjoy the most and the energy to do it. Do the 80/20 process and redo it regularly as clutter returns by force of habit.
Our attention is the most important resource we have in life, so putting it on what makes a positive difference is a real game changer.