Subtraction – An Exercise

by Dan


I recently mentioned that, as I get through the “low hanging fruit” with my Daily Acts of Simplification, I will need to come up with some methods to identify simplification opportunities. I am not at the point of running out of easy stuff yet, but it’s getting time to have a think about those methods.

Today I decided to work up a method based on subtraction. This is what I come up with.

1. Choose a place. It could be a room in your house, office, garage, desk, car, loft etc
2. Find a place to sit or stand comfortably
3. Close your eyes. Breathe slowly and deeply, focussing on your breath for about 5 minutes
4. Now start to visualise how you would use this room or space in a perfect world. What would it feel like when you walked in? What would you be using the space for? What is necessary in that space to accomplish that purpose? Visualise only the necessary things in that room. What would they be? Where would they be?
5. Get a very strong feeling of peace and harmony as you explore this space in your imagination, noting every detail of the clutter-free, enriching environment.
6. Sit with that feeling for a few minutes
7. Open your eyes and immediately note something that is there that didn’t exist in your visualisation. Go straight to it and resolve to do something about it.
8. Ask yourself the zero-based thinking question: “Knowing what I now know, would I bring this item into my life in the first place?”.
9. If yes, then it must have a place to be that is somewhere else. Tidy it up, put it back in its place, or decide on a place for it.
10. If no, then remove it. Discard, donate or recycle.

You have now successfully subtracted something from your space!

I will use this technique and let you know how I get on.