I recently went to a seminar hosted by The Minimalists. Their whole philosophy is based on adding value to your life by having less, which contradicts the cultural norms which suggest bigger is better. For example, they explore ways to save money on material items and trade that money back for time. More time to spend on relationships, hobbies etc. This will make more sense when listening to their podcasts and reading their blogs.
(On a side note, I wish I had labelled my previous little hobo lifestyle as ‘minimalist’ and blogged about it – it could have been fairly lucrative! Always learning).
Anyway, being minimalist has always been a lifestyle that I’ve tried to pursue and the prospect of accumulating ‘things’ would firstly make me feel claustrophobic and secondly, dramatically impact my little hobo lifestyle.
“If everything doesn’t pack into my car I’ve got too much stuff.”Pre- Functional Dad
Now obviously things have changed with the little one and I have to work hard to embrace this shift and remain practical about the ‘stuff’ we have. My key take away from the seminar wasn’t necessarily the minimalist movement, but how they manage to remain present with their children and de-clutter their minds despite the constant need to be creative and generate new ideas.
“We trade time for money.”Daniel Sivers
Their desire to maximise time, which they view as currency, seemed to be their main theme. Ruthless prioritisation and focus during key moments of the day were instrumental in achieving this, with particular investment into morning routines. This requires waking up earlier than normally scheduled but allows them to tick off important tasks during this stable and uninterrupted period. This provides more time to focus on the most important aspects of their life later in the day, whether it’s their business or family time.
The gem however, was provided by Derick Sivers, the author of ‘Anything You Want’. His phrase (which I’m officially claiming) “I’m busy being a great Dad” means he completely switches off from social media and any outside influences, and responds to those people trying to divert his attention with that phrase.
If I’m honest, switching off and slowing down has always proved to be a particular challenge for me (luckily my wife is an all-star), and I have to work hard to stay present. However, being present is obviously important to me because I want to maximise my time with the little one.
So for the last week, I’ve been researching and learning more about morning routines, with a particular focus on the habits of who we consider to be successful people. It’s interesting to learn that a lot of people are reviewing their morning routines to ensure they maximise their day. This certainly consolidates what Josh and Ryan (the Minimalists), and Derick were suggesting.
In Time is currency – Part 2, I discuss the trends I noticed with morning routines and how I am managing to implement my own.