A simple way to enhance focus


My wife and I just closed out the storage unit we’ve had for decades. We brought a handful of boxes home and got rid of the rest.

I recently donated several hundred books to the library bookstore. I’m down to one bookcase.

I’ve lost weight in the last year and recently got rid of about half of the clothes in my closet.

I thought I was just getting rid of junk but I find I’m actually practicing minimalism. I just figured out why that appeals to me.

Minimalism makes it easier to focus. Focus creates clarity. And clarity helps you become more efficient and effective.

You’re more efficient because fewer options (e.g., using just a few apps or a few marketing strategies) reduces distractions and the loss of momentum occasioned by switching from one option to another.

You are more effective because you’re able to spend more time getting the right things done which helps you accomplish your most important goals.

There’s also an esthetic quality to minimalism. A cleaner desk (and desktop), for example, helps me feel relaxed and in control.

If you like the idea but resist doing it, start slowly. Put most of your apps into one or two folders and leave only a few on your desktop. Clean out one closet or one drawer. Give yourself just one hour this weekend to gather up stuff to give away or throw away.

And if that’s too much, don’t get rid of anything yet, just make piles or lists of giveaway “candidates”. When you’re ready, you can take the next step.

I guess you could call that a minimalistic approach to minimalism.


Lean and simple or cluttered and powerful


We’re told that it’s important to use the right tool for every job. It’s more efficient and we’ll get better outcomes.

But what about the overhead?

It takes time to learn each tool, keep up with the updates, and move information from one tool to another. And what about the visual clutter?

When we continually add tools and equipment, methods and workflows, we risk winding up with Fibber McGee’s closet. And let’s face it, we won’t use most of those tools or methods long term, or we’ll use them so sparingly it’s not worth keeping them around.

What if instead of seeking the best tool for every job we pared things down to just a few? What if instead of a quest for the perfect system we substitute something simpler and good enough?

It’s a different mindset. Minimalism, I suppose. But it appeals to me on both esthetic and practical levels. I also like a good challenge.

One thing I’m doing right now is cutting the number of tags I use in my task management system. Fewer tags require fewer decisions, less maintenance, and a cleaner look and “feel”.

All of this might mean some compromises. For example, fewer tags might mean it takes longer to find things.

Is the tradeoff worth it?

I’m doing my best to find out.

A simple way to get more traffic and more referrals