Simplicity requires elimination. Your amount of stuff, your human contact, and the things you do will increase faster than you reduce them. Elimination of vanities is the most important thing in simplifying life. The figures for individual goods and human contacts are described in more detail in the figures. This chapter tells you more about unnecessary doing. Most of the things you do are useless. They do not add value to you. Your skills are poor on average. The purpose of the book is to reduce the things you do in vain and make you focus on what brings you the most benefit and enjoyment. Just a few things you do every day are really helpful to you. You’ll have a hard time believing this because it means you’re wasting most of your available resources. You don’t have to try to get the few percent productivity gains that the world around you thirsts for. By eliminating vanities, you get an improved quality of life and tens of percent efficiency.
You need to make things unnecessary if you can’t eliminate them. Habits don’t need your focus. More about creating routines, their benefits, and changing them is covered in a chapter that focuses on habits. Unnecessary things depend on the person. Therefore, this chapter focuses more on identifying vanities. You can also eliminate your vanities by delegating them to others. First, try to remove unnecessary things you don’t like. You cannot eliminate all of them. First, remove all possible ones and delegate those vanities to others that you cannot completely avoid. Then focus on the things you are bad at. They produce unpleasant side effects on your life and waste your resources. Failures will produce more failures for you and a rolling snowball will grow. Here are some things to keep in mind that is taken from The Four-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris:
Things to always suspend. When you are interrupted, you have to re-tune in to do them which takes time out of your brain.
Answering unnecessary emails and calls.
Things that have always been done this way. They have not evolved and as a result they have become ineffective.
Things where your partner is either miserable or unreliable.
Things that are not completed on schedule and whose completion is not visible.
Meetings that don’t have a clear purpose, goal, or schedule and where you don’t have a critical role.
From the list above, you can easily see how much more unnecessary and wasteful things you have to do. You can easily simplify your life by eliminating them. This leads to a better outcome than improving unnecessary things. Elimination can produce unexpected surprises for you. Try it to see the results. Do not bite too large a piece at a time. Focus first on your most harmful habits and actions. Subtract a maximum of two similar things at once. Start with the most harmful and gradually move on to others. In my experience, changing all bad habits at once leads to everyone’s failure and bigger problems than you had before the change.