Less Stuff, More Happiness

Decided to start a regular series called Ted Thursdays, where I’ll share some of my favorite Ted.com videos every week. If you haven’t already checked out or heard of Ted, maybe you should stop watching porn and start doing something meaningful online.

I -love- Ted.com. I use their app to watch videos on the long-ass bus/subway ride to work as a way to get thinking, to get motivated, or just laugh my ass off (much to the annoyance of other grumpy sleepy commuters).

Today’s Ted talk is a short, 5-minute video on how having less stuff could lead to more happiness. (Or the deliciously simple ” <=> “) Graham highlights three ways you could make this work:

1. Edit Ruthlessly

2. Think Small

3. Make Multifunctional

While this is meant to apply more toward design principles, I don’t see why we can’t use it in life. Yesterday, I got a helluva frustrated because a computer glitch caused a ton of emails, that I had carefully sorted and archived over the past year, to be spat out, unsorted, back into my inbox. A quick glance through made me realize that I will never, ever reread or use 98% of them, yet I was spending hours and hours archiving and sorting them out every day. A simple solution: that little button marked “DELETE”. At first, I was a little apprehensive at the prospect of deleting something potentially important, but who am I kidding – if it was THAT important, there will be other ways of retrieving it, without wasting precious hours archiving things I will never use. It’s an invigorating feeling to delete 1,463 emails at a go. You should try it.

This New Year, take the opportunity to ruthlessly cut the junk that’s been building up in your physical and digital property. As you’re faced with new stuff, give yourself a bias to delete rather than to store. You’ll free up some mental capacity and get re-invigorated to start doing something REALLY great. Here’s to a less cluttered, happier, new year 🙂

(PS: Yes – I’m fully aware that today is actually Friday. I fell asleep, exhausted, after a night out with friends on Thursday. A dude’s gotta live, okay?)


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