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Life Simplification

Posted by on Sep 21, 2010 | One Comment

I’ve been reading Timothy Ferriss’ awesome book “The 4 Hour Work Week“. The book is essentially a road map to creating a lifestyle that allows you to do what excites you. Even before reading the book, I have been slowly moving in that very direction. The book has given me explicit directions and a plan. Here are a few ideas I’m implementing:

Cutting Information

We are constantly flooded with information that has no bearing on our lives.  This may come in the form of television news, the interwebs, email, newspapers, Facebook, or a myriad of other sources.  All waste time, which we use as excuses to procrastinate accomplishing tasks that will actually help us.

Ferriss‘ concept isn’t to become more productive to squeeze more in each day.  His goal is to eliminate the inefficiencies to get shit done, then use the extra free time to pursue that which excites you.

This concept has been surprisingly easy.  I stopped surfing the ‘Net.  I check Facebook once each day for about 10 minutes.  I set up an autoresponder on my email; I only check it once every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

The results have been shocking.  Each day, I have a to-do list of exactly one thing.  It is always something that is my highest priority to help me accomplish some goals.  After I accomplish that one task, I have free time.

It is a little more complex, but that’s the basic idea.  I love it!  I actually accomplish more useful tasks, I have more time to spend with Shelly and the kids, I even have more time to run.

Less is More

Along the same lines, I am also actively reducing my material possessions (which I’ve documented previously).  My ultimate goal is to become completely mobile, which means eliminating everything I own except for a handful of convenient-to-transport material items.

So far, so good.  I’ve managed to eliminate a good portion of my stuff.  The process is like peeling back layers of an onion. The first round was easy- I eliminated all things I never use and had wanted to eliminate.

The next round was more difficult.  I had to eliminate stuff I may use at some time.  Once I began, it became easier.  Getting over the idea that “I may someday need a plunge router, therefore it deserved a shelf in my garage” got easier after the first five or ten minutes of cleaning.

This process is becoming more difficult emotionally.  I’m pretty much left with childhood mementos and items I sometimes use.  If anyone happens to be a toy collector, I have a pretty impressive collection of toys from the early to mid 80’s in fair condition.  :-)

I’ll continue to document this process.

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1 Comment

  1. kelly
    September 21, 2010

    Jason,

    I’m feeling like the devil’s advocate after reading this post. What do you mean “My ultimate goal is to become COMPLETELY mobile”? Are you planning on getting rid of your house? Will you be one of those retired couples traveling in a RV, or even more extreme, will you be living in a natural shelter in the Arizona desert? I’m all for organizing and discarding unwanted stuff, but don’t you think there’s an appropriate limit?

    After a divorce many years ago, I moved from a 2000 sqft 4 bdrm/2 bth house to a 400 sqft studio apartment, and just a couple of suitcases and boxes that fit in my car. It didn’t take long before I outgrew that small space. I lived without a TV or computer for about half a year. But after awhile, I desired to be more connected with the world, so I bought new ones. Then my interests grew, so I bought stuff to experience new things. It’s nice to have a place called home where me and my stuff can reside.

    And I agree one must “filter” information, but net surfing (googling) is an efficient form of opening up ourselves to new experiences, such as barefoot running?

    Kelly