Addition vs. subtraction


In a recent newsletter, James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, offered a different way to think about how to planning your time. He said

“If you’re searching for more time this year, start with a clean slate and choose what to add to your days rather than starting with a full schedule and trying to figure out what to eliminate.“

Pretend you’re just starting out. In life or in your practice. What are a few must haves for you? If you had those, what else would you want?

You can also use this approach to re-build your project or task list, your budget, or your goals. Start with a clean slate and add things that are most important to you. If you could only work on one major project this year, for example, what would it be?

You can also use this to simply the list of tools you use to do your work.

I currently use 3 different note-taking apps. I like them all and use all 3 daily, for slightly different purposes. If I wanted to simplify my workflow, it would be difficult for me to choose which app or apps to eliminate.

If I was starting from scratch, however, I know which one I’d start with.

Truth be told, I’m sure I would soon be back to using all 3. Which is okay with me. At least I would have made a conscious decision to do that instead of continuing to do it out of habit.

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