Mental Minimalism

punch1It’s complicated.

No It’s Not.

I thought about this while swimming laps last week. While I am a minimalist in the sense of possessions,  I realized that I am more of a mental minimalist.

Does that mean I am intentionally dumbing myself down?

No!

Wait, yes!

Years ago someone told me that their interpretation of KISS wasn’t:

keep it simple stupid

but

keep it stupid, simple

The idea stuck.

We (by we I also include myself) seem to be hell bent on adding to our own mental overload which leads to decision fatigue and irritability cause we never stop having to think about trivial and stupid things and then there is no mental energy for learning or growth thinkin’.

It’s chaos.

I have a theory that people purposely create chaos so that when they fail, which happens a lot, it’s fucking chaos, so they can justify that the chaos was just too difficult a challenge to overcome and that’s why they failed. If one eliminates the chaos, then one might have to soul search why one failed and that might bring up, you know, feelings. And accountability.

That I know cause I have failed a lot. I rocked the fail. I say this through gritted teeth but I almost always learn from these failures. And the whole feelings part really really sucks.

One of the reasons I do not fit in the corporate world is that I am all about clean lines and efficiency and the corporate world is not all about clean lines and efficiency. CEOs and other richer than me people with letters after their job titles say/want efficiency but it does happen because they don’t want it to happen.

The thinking appears to be crisis mode is easier to manage than avoiding the crisis in the first place. That takes a bit of effort and planning. Plus office politics and gross incompetency derails that idea pretty quickly.

I have tried over and over again in the last 15+ years to get managers to understand the importance of writing stuff down and cross referencing the info so it’s super duper accessible but time after time I just get resistance and the tired old “well it’s your job to do answer questions” or “you have to learn to roll with the punches.”

Or we could answer the questions before the questions have to be asked! Or we could create a punch free environment in the first place.

So now I’ve outlined in a very long winded way all your faults. Hurrah for me!

Now what?

Dumb it down! It really is that simple.

Get rid of the minor, yet mentally draining things in your day. You can’t control the boss’ 17 point plan for paperclip inventory and distribution, but you can put your bills on auto-pay and check the weather forecast the night before to figure out what to wear the next day. Pick up that book on the bookshelf that you want to read and just start reading. And if it’s no good, give it away. To a library or a thrift store. Don’t obsess which friend would like the book or not. That’s your friend’s mental clutter, not yours.

Create a system and if it fails, tweak it. It’s going to be messy and inelegant. There’s probably typos in this post and after my swim I will read it again and fix the mistakes. No big deal and not worth obsessing over.

Work steadily, one thing at a time for full mental sharpness.

It’s really that stupid!

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