How choosing less can give you more time

One of the very best benefits for me about choosing less is how it gives me more time.

Unfortunately, I can't quantify that.

With health, at least, I could point to studies saying that clutter makes stress.

But how can I prove that choosing less gives me more time? I don’t have any stats except my anecdotal stories.

To try and find some data, I looked back at at all of the subjects I’ve covered this month. Some examples I found:

  • Fewer clothes: My wardrobe only has clothes that I like, and most can be used for many seasons or occasions, so picking my clothes for the day and getting dressed in the morning is a quick process. And, when I start to run out by the weekend, I’m forced to do laundry, so everything is clean and fresh for the next week.
  • Fewer kitchen things: I know where everything is in the kitchen, so it’s easy to find what I need when I need it and easy to put back when I'm done using it.
  • Fewer bathroom things: Getting ready in the mornings and evenings is a consistent process because everything is easy to find, easy to use, and easy to put back. And, when I run low on something, I know that it’s time to get more or to add it to the week’s shopping list.
  • Less social media: Spending less time on social media lets me focus on other things. Like writing these emails!
  • Less email: I only check email a few times a day, and when something comes in, I can tell almost immediately what I need to do with it and how I can find it later if I need. Huge time-saver.

There’s more topics I didn't write about this month, from the broad to the granular, that can save time as well. Things like:

  • Choosing fewer foods in the house: by bringing fewer foods into the house and with most of it allocated for planned meals, I choose less about what to eat and will more likely gravitate toward good foods when I get hungry.
  • Choosing fewer shows: I calculated that it would take approximately 37 and a half days of 24-7 Netflix watching to see all of the original content coming to the service in 2018. I will never keep up, and that's not counting everything on the many other channels and streaming services out there! Choosing fewer shows allows me to pick the ones I'm really interested in.
  • Choosing less in your wallet: I only keep five-ish cards in my wallet at any given time, so I can quickly grab what I need when I need it. No fumbling at the front of the checkout line. Less-frequently used cards are moved in and out of my wallet as needed. This is a small but handy time-saver.

Looking in aggregate, this shows me how I get a lot of small but significant time-savings through choosing less.

You can give yourself some more time by choosing less in even just one area of your life, and I hope these emails have helped you identify an area where that's possible for you.

This post is adapted from a weekday newsletter I wrote in April 2018, Choose Less.