If you’re like me, there are a gazillion things you want to do. There’s a stack of books on your nightstand. A pile of newspapers and magazines on the table. An entire folder of blog feeds and bookmarked sites to read. Runs to take. Yoga classes to attend. Recipes to try.
We all have “the list,” whether it is the stack of books by your bed, the desire to exercise more, or simply having more time to be, just to be, with yourself, with loved ones, with life. There is so much we want to do, and only so much time, so why do we let our lives get so cluttered?
And I mean this literally and metaphorically. Our lives are so cluttered that we have no time for the things we really want. So, the key is to simplify and downsize.
I did this recently when we moved houses. We moved into a smaller place so we were forced to make choices. Seven trips to Goodwill later, we moved into our new house lighter and freer. And we still have three more trips to make! The more we let go of, the more space there is to be. The less we have, the more time we have. We are not climbing over things.
Great leaders have a subtraction mindset. This means deleting that which is not necessary, relevant, or helpful. This is true in your personal life. This is true at work. This is true in life.
So get rid of unnecessary things, sour people, cumbersome policies and procedures, unproductive meetings, and see what can be created instead. And if deleting is hard for you, think about the things you want in your life vs. the things that are actually in your life:
- What is taking up the most space?
- Are those things bringing you joy and happiness?
- What can you get rid of to make more space?
There is power in deleting. By doing so, you create space to live and work more fully.