The Struggle of Minimalism vs. Relevance

Yesterday was weird.

People were driving like lunatics, some of my customers seemed to be in a daze, and focusing on anything at all was virtually impossible for me.

Maybe we’re all losing our minds from this super blue blood moon, but I’ll say one thing, I can always rely on chaos for a major epiphany.

Let’s start with Noah C Lekas’ article, “One Year Without a Smartphone.” I read the piece slowly and highlighted half of it before sending it on to a couple of friends and family. Not only is his writing stunning, but the minimalist dream of less social media and communication involvement is simple and beautiful.

Feeling inspired, I hopped over to YouTube to find a new Gary Vaynerchuk keynote on making money and living a legacy. Entertaining and educational as usual, the talk did not disappoint.

But the result of agreeing with both left me feeling conflicted.

How can I continue to seek minimalism in my daily life and simultaneously stay on top of marketing, communication, and technology?

If-then scenarios began bombarding my mind. If I leave Facebook, then I can’t manage my business page. If I keep these apps on my phone, then I set traps for myself to waste time on them. If, then, if, then, if, then….

Like any good thought-provoking conundrum, I began breaking down my thoughts into professional necessities and personal desires. What I found was that I could exist somewhere in the middle: I can stay relevant and not be spread so thin. I can achieve higher clarity of mind by being honest with myself about what’s essential. And I can fight to steward my time well with discipline and focus.

Thanks to Lekas’ writing, I began here:

  1. Deleted my Twitter app.
  2. Deactivated my Pinterest account — it was never really my thing anyway (I am terrible at DIY and I hate crafty things).
  3. Deleted a handful of apps that “maybe I would use someday, but probably never.”
  4. Turned off notifications for all of my apps.
  5. Purchased an alarm clock so I don’t have my phone by my head at night.

And thanks to Gary Vee, I can still understand what’s happening in the digital world without investing so much of my time on those platforms.

The noise in the world is growing at an increasing rate. People and brands and organizations and companies are fighting constantly for your attention, but the main point is that we are in control of our time and we have the ability to choose who and what we give it to.

You can read a Facebook post or read a book. You can check email or close your eyes and think. You can look at endless photos on Instagram or paint your own.

Choose carefully and be selfish. Time is one thing we don’t get more of.


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