Saw this today when I picked up a friend’s copy of the Daily Stoic. ‘Be ruthless to the things that don’t matter.’ I’ve heard this before and several months ago I took a hard look at things around me that didn’t matter. I stopped spending any time on them. They disappeared from my life and my life got a lot more fun. Some of these things:
The news. Especially politics. I stopped ever listening or reading about it. If it’s important enough then I’m likely going to hear about it from a friend and research it from there, but it’s usually not.
What other people post on social media. I drastically reduced my social media time and created so much time for creating things and building my skills. I also found that when I really want to know what someone is up to, I can go search for them without looking at an entire newsfeed.
People I dislike. I don’t follow on social media the people who I wouldn’t want to hear talk in real life.
Choosing outfits. Several friends of mine in San Francisco wear the same outfit everyday after hearing about attention fatigue and how Obama wears the same suit and the Steve Jobs black turtleneck…I thought it was really silly. But then I actually did it. I used to spend 15 minutes in the morning deciding what to wear each day. Now I have 6 copies of the same work dress. I wear the same one every day, either at a co-working space or working from my room, a coffee shop, in a meeting etc. It’s professional and easy. I save time and don’t need to stress over which outfit to choose. If there’s a weekend where I have plans or a night when I’m doing something special, I look at the rest of my wardrobe.
Old friendships. I don’t keep old friends in my life simply because we used to be friends years ago. I only actively stay friends with and make time for people who push me to be my best and challenge me. This means I’ve walked away from a lot of old friendships, but now I have a lot more time for new friendships with people who are better for me to be around.