Culling is being actively minimalist

Written by Sol Orwell

A while ago I had a quick thought on how I actively cull.

If something is not adding value to me, it’s weighing me down.

(A bit reductionist, but you get the jist).

Here is a definition of minimalism:

Wherein the subject is reduced to its necessary elements

To me, culling is the actionable part in being minimalist. It’s removing what is unnecessary to give more oxygen and sunshine so that what is important can grow.

Culling is a part of my morning routine

Morning routines can be powerful. Unfortunately, people way overcomplicate morning routines and forget the primary purpose – to prime you for success over the course of the day.

One of the ways I prime myself during my morning routine is by culling my Facebook friends.

(Stay with me).

About six months ago, I topped out at roughly 3700 Facebook friends. As I write this, I’m down to sub-3000:

(My ideal goal is <2000, but with the many industries I flit around in, I think <2500 is more manageable).

Now you might read that, and think – damn, that’s a lot of time and energy wasted on social media (especially with how I talk about social media).

There is a method to this madness:

  1. It gives me an opportunity to say hi to people I may not have said hi to recently. By going through both Birthdays and On This Day, I am reminded of the people I have connected with. A simple DM to say ‘happy birthday’ goes a long way.
  2. Most resources are finite – our time, our attention, our brain space. If I wouldn’t say hi to you from across the street, I don’t want you taking up any space in my brain.It’s akin to letting people live in your head rent free. It may be taking up a small amount of real estate… but small is bigger than zero.
  3. ┬áMost importantly, it puts me into the mindset of “cull what you don’t need, focus on what you do need.”

This 3-4 minute activity of culling is akin to a warmup for the rest of the day. By starting the day by removing cruft, it actualizes it from”mantra of minimalism” to “living minimalist.”

Little actions lead to big movements. By culling right off the bat, I am forcing myself to actively think “only focus on what is important.”

Culling is not nice (but who cares?)

For most people, the imagery invoked when using the word ‘culling’ is not nice; it’s downright brutalism.

And that’s why I use it.

By removing (aka culling) the stuff that holds you back (or even in neutral), you leave all your time, your energy, your mental focus on the stuff that will move you forward.

And best of all, by culling, you’re only left with the stuff you need.

Aka, the minimum of what you need.

Cull hard. It lets you focus on what matters and what’s productive.

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