I was travelling in a bus. I overheard a conversation.
It was heated, yet a philosophical argument between the bus conductor and a fellow passenger. A point came when the bus conductor was replied, “Except for ‘food’ man doesn’t say enough for anything.” It made sense.
I am on this quest for minimalism – an effort to reduce my wants and greeds of the material possessions and abstract temptations. On the other hand, I am also a productivity geek. It felt like I was contradicting myself, as the two ideas ‘minimalism’ and ‘productivity’ were at odds with each other.
Minimalism proposes to reduce one’s use of stuff and things and live the bare minimum that one may require. But the conventional definition of productivity suggests doing more in less – technically to improve efficiency with the least cost, time and resource.
I was wondering whether it would make sense to re-define my idea of productivity with the new insight I am having? By doing so, will it be possible for me to bring these two opposing ethos together in my life?
Introducing the Enough List
The answer came from one of my favourite bloggers, Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist introducing to me the idea of minimalist to-do list. The article refers to the interesting practice of Melissa Camara Wilkins using her ‘enough’ list. She talks about limiting one’s to-do list and not be overwhelmed by one’s every-growing to-do list.
Unrelatedly, I was also re-reading another of Mark Forster’s article on No-list systems. In that blog post, he basically presented to different types of lists and put an open question across stating which one do you thing will help be get more done. Not to say, Mark concluded that having a shorter list will increase more productivity than having a longer list.
And Why This Happen?
Our to-do list are usually our nice to-do list. The question I would want to pose to you is what if we draw an upper limit of things that we want to do, could do.
James Clear talks about setting this ‘upper bound’ in this article. It also resonated with me how it also matters to me to be how ambitious I can be. Not to be carried away by such irrational statements like ‘Nothing is impossible.’ It is the ability to say enough.
It also says about putting an upper limit for one’s lifestyle choices and it helps as well.
- What are the areas you would put an ‘upper limit’ to?
- How would you make your ever-growing to-do list and make it an ‘enough list’?
Try these suggestions for a week and let me know.