Fighting the urge to say yes

Minimalism taxes the mind.

It’s easier to say yes. Yes to more stuff. Yes to extra projects when you don’t have the bandwidth. Yes to more books even though I have five on loan from the library. I returned two today. I finished one., but I never made it past Chapter 2 on the second one.

The hard work is saying yes to no.

No, I won’t borrow more library books. Not until I finish the ones on loan or decide to return them. No more new productivity books or apps. Not when I have Getting Things Done, Trello, and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People within arm’s reach.

I made a commitment. I chose “Less is More” as my mantra. It won’t be easy. The temptation is everywhere. All day long society whispers, nudges and cajoles. Get more. Take more. Do more. It happens in our inboxes, on our smartphones and on the Spadina streetcar.

You have to assert control. It’s a habit like anything else. And that means it will take work to retrain my brain.

  • Step 1: Take a step back when confronted with the opportunity for new stuff.
  • Step 2: Weigh the benefits and decide if this is something I want or need.
  • Step 3: Say no more than you say yes.
  • Step 4: Look around at what you no longer need and say yes to letting go.

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