Posts Tagged ‘simplicity’

Do One Thing, Well

In Uncategorized on March 15, 2010 at 6:19 am

Thinking more about my embarrassingly long list of unfinished projects makes me appreciate Nehemiah’s simplicity all the more. He did one thing and he did it well. Nehemiah was not a multitasker, if such a thing even exists. He didn’t try to refocus the people’s attention to the temple (chapters 7-9) while he was working to build the wall (chapters 1-6). He separated the two projects and waited until one was completed before beginning the other. He did one thing at a time and he did it to completion.

The tendency to begin one project before another is complete must be resisted. It takes a lot of energy to do a job with excellence. Spreading your energy over more than one thing will lead to poor performance in all things unless you know something about physics that the rest of the world doesn’t.

Do you have a list of uncompleted projects right now? Try this: only add another project if you can cross off three others and begin to bring that list under control.


Book Review: Simplify

In Uncategorized on February 27, 2010 at 11:38 am

I’m a bit of a closet-minimalist but there is quite a large following of minimalism out there. Joshua Becker is unique in that his entire family was convinced of the benefits of minimalism a few years ago and has been pursuing that lifestyle ever since. His book, Simplify, is the result of his family’s pursuit.

There are a few other reviews to read through if you are interested in the content of this book, although the sub-title (7 Guiding Principles to Help Anyone Declutter Their Home and Life) gives you a pretty good idea. I’d rather focus on one specific topic in this book that grabbed me. It was a small portion of the book, a sub-bullet, that struck me because it is an area that I have not settled in my mind yet. Gifts and giving.

I honestly do not enjoy receiving gifts from others, which leads to a lack of interest in giving gifts to others as well. So when it comes to birthdays and holidays there is a strong reluctance to participate in exchanging gifts. This would be fine if I didn’t care for anyone but the people I love enjoy giving and receiving gifts. Here is how Becker described his solution:

  1. We chose not to remove the joy that our relatives receive from giving gifts
  2. We made a point to give them lists
  3. After a time, we purge again

I think the first piece of advice outweighs all others. It is a great example of placing others above yourself (Philippians 2:1-11). Ultimately, Christ has shown us this example and we would grasp it so much more if we followed it.

I did enjoy Becker’s book and would recommend it to any family regardless of whether they resonate with minimalism or not. It is filled with a lot of practical advice for decluttering. The emphasis is on people and not possessions, which makes it one of the best books I’ve read on organizing and decluttering.

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this e-book but will not profit from its sale.

Nehemiah: Simplicity

In Uncategorized on February 15, 2010 at 7:27 pm

A quick note from Nehemiah: do what makes sense. He assigned work to all the people building the wall as simply as he could. Rather than make detailed work plans he just let the people work on the areas surrounding their own houses. No low-level managing needed, just let the people do what they know best. More on this tomorrow, I think it is a great topic.