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Day 29: Keep it simple

“At every moment keep a sturdy mind on the task at hand, as a Roman and human being, doing it with strict and simple dignity, affection, freedom, and justice—giving yourself a break from all other considerations. You can do this if you approach each task as if it is your last, giving up every distraction, emotional subversion of reason, and all drama, vanity, and complaint about your fair share. You can see how mastery over a few things makes it possible to live an abundant and devout life—for, if you keep watch over these things, the gods won’t ask for more.”

MARCUS AURELIUS

There are so many distractions in today’s world and there are so many decisions that we need to take every day. These decisions could be as small as ‘What should I wear today?’, ‘What should I eat?’, ‘What should I do right now?’, ‘Should I do this first or that?’ and many others. All of these questions seem so trivial yet they take our whole energy throughout the day. And if you are like me who can’t sit still for a minute and need to keep doing something in every possible gap of time, then the number of questions in your head is so much that it seems it will burst.

But why would we want to do that? We want our whole energy to be directed to the task at hand rather than fussing over trivial details. Here are few things that I find useful to keep things simple:

1. Do things one at a time

Being a woman I guess it is always stereotyped that we are good at multi-tasking, after all, don’t we take care of the home, office, kids, elders, kitchen and I don’t know running the world at the same time. But I would urge you to not fall into this stereotype. The human mind is not made to multi-task, it doesn’t matter whether it is male or female.

Try to think about two different varied things at a time. Think about roaming in the streets of Paris and seeing the Eiffel tower and at the same time try writing an essay on capitalism. I bet you can’t think of both of them at the same time. You will just keep switching between topics. Now, because of these context switches, you are spending more energy on finishing a task that you would do otherwise.

2. Make a plan

Making a To-Do list helps to declutter your brain. Use your brain for execution rather than storing. Another thing that helps me allotting a time slot for each to-do item. In this way, I know when I am going to do what and focus on the task at hand without worrying about hundreds of other items on my list.

3. Remove clutter

There are already too many distractions for us in our day-to-day life. We don’t want any more distractions because of the clutter around us. Make a habit to keep your workspace clean and organized. If you know where your stuff is you won’t spend an hour searching for it which you could have used otherwise in so many productive pursuits. One of the things that I am trying to do to achieve this goal is to adopt minimalism in my life. You can follow this blog if you want to join me in this journey and get inspired to reduce the clutter in your life.

Published inPhilosophy & IdeasStoicism

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