It is logical to say that the things we spend the most amount of time on are the things that are most important to us, or that help us achieve what’s important in our lives. For instance, if an important goal in your life is to save up and buy a house as quickly as possible, then you will spend most of your time at work, earning money, trying to get promoted, etc. It is also, therefore, logical to assume that where we spend the most amount of time is intended to bring us the most amount of happiness (early homeownership makes you happy, hence you work more to earn more to afford a home). Keeping this logic in mind, the next step is to track your activities over the course of, say, a week.
Note the amount of time you spend watching TV, commuting to work, hanging out with friends, shopping, browsing the internet, and so on. After a week, you’ll most likely start to see a pattern. You’ll notice what you spend the most amount of time on. When I took this step, I realized that I spent the majority of my free time either browsing the net or watching TV. Then I realized that the time invested in these activities did not help me in becoming happy or help me to obtain something that would make me happy. If you are brutally honest about tracking yourself, the revelations from a week’s worth of data will most likely be astounding.
We are caught up in daily life and sometimes it is hard to lose track of time or be aware of how much time we’re spending on something. To sum up, the first step towards minimalism is to truly find out what makes you happy, and then to see how much time you are spending on things this is easier said than done, so take enough time to walk through these steps carefully.
Key highlights from this post:
* The modern minimalist movement means to be content with less— to be truly happy and appreciate what you already have, rather than define your happiness through comparison with others.
* The first step towards minimalism is to take the time to know what fulfills you and makes you happy.
Sometimes, what we think makes us happy is shaped by peers or society over the years. It is vital that we recognize this and decouple others’ expectations from us when defining the criteria of our own happiness.
* The second step is to track how much time we actually spend on doing the things that truly make us happy.