It's not the obvious clutter that needs your attention

That’s the easy part

Getting rid of clothes that don’t fit you anymore, giving up on hobbies that you haven’t had the passion for in a long time, deleting the social media apps that you don’t really use, and not going to voluntary work events that you hate—these are relatively easy to remove from our lives.

We need to take a step further and realize the minimal time and attention we have at our disposal. Of course we shouldn’t deal with the optional things that we don’t enjoy. That’s minimalism 101. But there are many good things—things we enjoy—that we simply cannot afford to do if we want to do the things we have the most passion for.

The more pairs of jeans I own, the less I get to wear my favorites. The more relationships I try to maintain, the less I have time for the closest ones. The more passion projects I’m taking on, the less I have time for the one that best gets me out of bed in the morning.

Now, variety has value, so we don’t have to refine our life down to one pair of jeans, one relationship, and one project, but we do tend to over-estimate our available time and attention. We need to take a hard look at the next best things in our life and learn to let go of them if they intervene with the most important things. They’re the ones that truly keep us from living our best life.

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