“Albert – you know what should happen when people make more money? They spend more. You make six figures and you’re using a cell phone plan from the 90s.”
This was a greeting comment from my friend after I was delayed in responding to a What’s App conversation regarding dinner plans. (Rationale? I don’t have push notifications. It consumes your data plan unnecessarily.)
I laughed off his remark and we proceeded to order our dinners, catching up and reflecting on 2017 and discussing our plans for the year to come. Afterwards, I couldn’t help but reflect on his comment. Why was it so offensive for someone to have a small data plan? In our society of nonstop notifications, bumps, and pings do we really more distractions? Can we not live more simply and enjoy the fresh air and the time to invest in our own lives and not the lives of others?
Since living on my own, I’ve been taking active steps to declutter my life. Most of these actions have been small, but they’ve led to significant changes in my stress levels when taken in aggregate. I honestly couldn’t be happier. Here are some actions I’ve taken:
No TV and Netflix Subscription
For those who have been following this blog, this isn’t the first time you’ve heard this. By reducing screen time, it grows my appreciation for content and also gets me to remain active rather than sedentary. I never had much TV growing up, so eliminating it almost completely hasn’t been a harsh transition. If I absolutely must watch something, streaming off of Reddit or via Google search has done the trick.
Unsubscribing from Email Newsletters
While I was mostly deleting these as they came in, they took up unnecessary time and were consequentially causing me to occasionally buy things I didn’t really need. No emails = no marketing touch points = less physical clutter.
Less Individual Stocks, More Index Funds
I used to dedicate hours and hours to researching individual companies. Those days are over as I’ve begun transitioning to a fully indexed strategy. The simplicity of automated contributions to TD e-series index funds, synced with my each pay period makes investing something that happens for me in the background, and doesn’t have me fully consumed in every day’s market fluctuations. Less stress, and more time to dedicate to my friends and family.
When it comes to clothes: one colour scheme.
Mark Zuckerberg famously wears the same T-shirt to work every day. Unfortunately, my employer doesn’t quite have that flexibility (the culture is dress in at least a shirt and tie every day), but I do focus on the same colour scheme: navy blue. Shirts, ties, you name it. I know the permutations are few and far between for me to dress up so there is less time in the morning figuring out what to pair. And laundry also isn’t a hassle at all.
These are just some of the small actions I’ve taken to declutter my life – do you have any actions you’ve taken to simplify your life? Comment below to share!