Minimalism is the epitome of living an efficient life. Perhaps that’s why so many millennial entrepreneurs and CEOs find it trendy and effective to practice minimalism.
What does efficiency in life mean?
Efficiency is the basically the best route to achieving a single goal. It has also been proven that systems are way more effective than goal setting in achieving goals. Stop kidding yourself, your ideal lifestyle is not novel. Someone out there has achieved it. A system exists. Find what their system is, and set milestones from there. A minimalist’s basic currency then comes into play.
What is a minimalist’s basic currency? The simple answer is time.
However, the not so simple answer is time, effort and money. Both effort and money are extensions of expanding your time in exchange for something else.
Once you’ve Ockham Razored your life down to the simple routines, you’ll never go back. In fact, you’d wonder how you’ve ever lived before being on auto-pilot half the time.
So, how does the economic ockham razor, time, effort and money play roles in helping you achieve your goals? Let’s look at a very common goal many have set for themselves every year.
Imagine you are Jim, someone in his 30s who is slightly overweight.
This is your goal:
Lose 10 kilograms with minimal commitment to the gym nor buying any fancy exercise equipment.
This is your system that you’ve constructed:
- Make time for a daily workout routine
- Meal prep so that you eat healthily
- Cut down on sugar, fat and salt
- Measure your results on a monthly basis
- Consult a fitness trainer or dietitian if you do not see results after 30 days. (ie, you may have an underlying health issue preventing you from seeing results or your diet is off the track)
This is your sweat equity:
- Wake up 1.5 hours earlier to make sure you get in a proper warm up, 15-20 mins of exercise and cool down as well as a post workout shower.
- Buy groceries in bulk once a week and use the weekend for meal prep. This could potentially take up to 6-8 hours of your time.
- Consciously track your food intake via an app or spreadsheet.
- Religiously read food labels so that you know what you are placing into your body.
- Fight off cravings when they hit by drinking a black coffee or green tea.
- Drink 2-3 liters of water a day
- Set 21-30 day challenges to cut down certain unhealthy habits such as smoking or drinking obsessively.
- Quit shouting at everyone due to your change in diet and lifestyle
- Record down your weigh ins on the weekend
- Scrutinize the internet and related forums for more information on how to “body hack” yourself
- Edit your grocery list and throw away crappy seasonings and sauces in your pantry (especially the expired ones)
- Hanker over throwing away your hoard of instant ramen and treats
- Set aside a budget for a fitness expert or consultation when the time comes for advice or when you hit a plateau.
- Set aside a budget for going for a health check up if needed.
- Wonder why you ever tried to lose 10 kilos.
- Finally lose 10 kilos.
- Self reflect and realise you could have done things in a more efficient manner if you knew how to.
- Realise that you now have a better relationship with the physical aspect of your body
Sweat equity is the most valuable asset you can offer when you start a learning journey, however, no one would really pay you to learn. Instead, you will pay to learn – with time, brutally hard work and money. You will then understand what it means to put skin in the game.
This is why I choose to be minimalist.
Being a minimalist by choice makes me sharpen my choice making blade daily to choose what is productive and what isn’t. I keep myself unbusy, but I keep myself productive.
If I were to slave away on achieving a goal, I make sure it is a purposeful one.
Why tear yourself across different goals without knowing what do you want to be at the end of that particular journey? Religiously filter and prune your way to success. It is not the length of the path, but your sheer determination that will get you there.
In summary: Set your goal, find the system and get on with it.