Eliminating the UnnecessaryAUTHOR: Francisco Sáez
"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak." ~ Hans Hofmann, German painter
Minimalism was an art movement that peaked in the early 1960s. By eliminating all the dispensable features and forms from the objects in works of art, it was intended to highlight their “true” essence. In short, it was a style that sought maximum effect through a minimal number of elements.
Lately, in a world characterized by an overabundance of information, products, etc., it seems that the concept of minimalism carries great potential, not only as an artistic movement, but also as a lifestyle. A minimalistic approach to life forces us to focus on what really matters.
In the software development industry, agile methodologies are succeeding. These methodologies value people and collaboration over processes and contract negotiations. The new methods to build startups (Lean Startup, Customer Development) seek to solve the world’s great problems by learning from the behavior of the people who suffer from these problems. They seek to create products that usually do very few things, but do those few things exceptionally well.
In a world in which we can easily become overwhelmed by the amount of things that fill our minds every single day—emails, phone calls, messages, advertisements, spam, offers, novelties, news—, the ability to learn how to distinguish the necessary from the unnecessary has become essential.
If we want to live a life worth living, with low levels of stress and anxiety, we must be able to reduce the number of things that actually make it into our minds. We need to do less of those things we probably should not do and do more of those things that are truly important. We have to say no to some things in order to have the chance to say yes to many others.
Get more outcomes with less effort, do more with less, focus on what is important, simplify. The various phrases—many of which have traditionally been associated with different models of productivity—are now more significant than ever, and are becoming an important way of life. Today’s life certainly demands productivity in the broadest sense of the word.
Remember: Eliminating the unnecessary is embracing more of life, not less.