Death To Stuff

Life by Adam on 2006-03-10 03:48

Many of the best life hacking techniques revolve around clearing your life of stuff. In this context, stuff has a very specific meaning: unnecessary and distracting objects, activities, virtual objects (aka computer stuff), and even people.

Why we end up with so much stuff is no mystery: humans are packrats. Once we’ve acquired something we don’t want to let it go. We ignore the opportunity cost of the resources we expend in keeping it around. And don’t kid yourself: keeping stuff around has a cost. It’s probably not a dollar cost, but it is a time, energy, or attention cost.

So I challenge you to take a few minutes, right now, and clear some of the deadwood out of your life. Here’s a few easy targets.

The point of all this is to give yourself capacity. When your life and your mind is uncluttered, you have the capacity to turn your resources to things that really matter. And perhaps more importantly, to recognize and act upon opportunities that come your way - opportunities that would have gone unfulfilled had you not been distracted by too much stuff.

4 comments per 'Death To Stuff'

  1. jason says:

    Bio-economics indeed!
    Ya know, the ‘friends and acquaintances’ one is really hard for people to grab. Yet, some wonder why, that in their thirties - they still feel like 18. You can only grow as far as your farthest concentric ring.

    Stuff is the mausoleum that man builds up around himself.

  2. Adam says:

    “Stuff is the mausoleum…” - briliant. Evocative, and makes me envision this concept in yet another way:

    Stuff is like an anchor, holding us to who we’ve been in the past. That’s a good thing, up to a point. We want a connection to the past, to preserve what we’ve done that works well, remember our mistakes so we won’t repeat them, and cherish the memories of life well-led. But if you weigh yourself with so many anchors that you cannot move, you’ve prevented any possible change in yourself as a person, and thereby bar yourself from appreciation of the wonders presented by a changing world.

    And as the world changes without you, discovering new and better ways of doing things, you are left behind, until you are an old foggie, grumbling about how “things aren’t how they used to be” and talking about the good old days.

    Fuck that. I’m going to go clean out my closets right now. :)

  3. Adam @ Dusk » Library says:

    […] o?

    Library

    General by Adam on 2006-07-16 04:44

    As part of my ongoing quest to get rid of stuff, I’m converting my library of books from a physical to virtual. Take a look: […]

  4. Adam @ Dusk » Death To Stuff, Part 2 says:

    […] o Stuff, Part 2

    Life by Adam on 2008-08-08 01:19

    Some other perspectives on stuff. Merlinn Man tackles the topic: “Ours is a culture based on the idea that whenever you run out of space, […]

Post a comment

Enter your comment (some HTML allowed)