In our constant productivity struggle, we always look for new and better things to solve old problems. Maybe it’s the newest PDA, moleskine, or laptop. Perhaps you move to a new GTD capture system every week. Maybe you’re a pen fanatic.
Stop. Do you really need that shiny new gadget?
I’m not the first person to suggest that less can be more, especially when it comes to GTD practices. If we’re really after a “mind like water,” it’s reasonable that less junk in our lives would aid in that quest.
What if you simplified your entire life?
What if your multitude of possessions disappeared overnight?
What if you only had $2,000 of personal property?
What would you own? What would your life look like? Is this impossible?
There are two questions (at least) implicit in this idea:
How would that affect your life?
There’s definitely not a “right” answer to these questions, since it all depends upon priorities. I’ll post my thoughts here, and I’m definitely looking forward to yours.
My $2,000 life
Having less stuff would simplify life in some ways, but make it more complicated in others. For example, less clothes means less laundry to screw with. But that also means having to wash those clothes more often. No phone would mean no telemarketers, but it would be hard to stay in touch with people.
With that said, I think it would be an interesting thing to try. I’ll bet my productivity would increase, since I’d have less stuff for distractions. But who knows?
Here’s what I’d buy:
- $400 – clothes – That definitely means shopping at consignment stores and such. And I’d need some comfy shoes, since there wouldn’t be money for a car.
- $1000 – laptop – Yeah, that’s half of my worldly possessions. I guess that shows how much of my life is tethered to this machine.
- $100 – bike – I love public transportation, but there are some places it doesn’t go. A guy’s gotta have some wheels.
- $200 – incidentals – Lots of small things are important, like headphones, an ink pen, a notepad, etc.
- $300 – furniture – A good night’s rest is important, and so is a decent place to sit and work on that expensive laptop.
What would your life look like?
Those are my hasty thoughts. What are yours? Where should we go from here?
[tags]gtd, getting things done, simplicity[/tags]
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